Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ramble on...

The now's the time, the time is now
to sing my song.

To the non-Zeppelin fans reading this --oh who am I kidding, is there such a thing as someone who does not recognize the genius of Led Zeppelin?

Ryan gave me access to contribute to this blog and I have been wringing my brain for something to write. Or rather something to contribute, which is far different than me quoting random lyrics from the 70's.

My reading list of late has consisted mainly of fiction and letters from 17th century Japanese swordsmen; at first glance it had nothing to do with the likes of Friedman or Jung.

I was re-reading O'Steven's notes from Friedman on leadership and found many similarities:

1.) engage without being reactive
2.) teach a new way of thinking
3.) stimulate without rescuing
4.) observe without willing the other's head to change
5.) the nature of one's Being - becomes transitive

All of these points can be found in classic books on swordsmanship.

As my previous Sensei pointed out, engagement and entanglement are deeply rooted in our culture. We watch sports which pit one team against the other and neither is allowed to disengage until the clock tells them to. In debating and sales, we are rewarded for turning the opinions of others to our side.

My current Sensei keeps telling me that thinking is bad for my health. If I think about what someone else is going to do, I construct a plan of how I will react to it. If my partner then chooses a different attack, I must first let go of the thought I was holding to react accordingly. It is far better to to remain calm and wait for what is being given to me so I can blend with it.

"I hate waiting." -Inigo Montoya

Over the past ten years, of all the things that have changed in my personality, I think my small increase in patience has been the most beneficial. I don't need to point out that most of the credit goes to Mary. Patience in my mind is the removal of fear from the equation. Sitting and waiting while biting my fingernails is not being patient. Patience is sitting calmly and letting time take its course while looking my problems in the eye.

The ironic thing is that I have more to fear now than ever before. I have a lovely wife. I have two beautiful children. I have a better appreciation for my life. Yet with all of that, I find myself able to wear my resonsibilities comfortably.

Once or twice a week, I pay to go to a white room with padded flooring and let people swing wooden sticks at my head in an effort to be calm and wait so I can act appropriately. It is an exercise on a small scale of what I am trying to do with my life. or at least until Cora is old enough to start dating.


  1. Great to hear from you - warrior poet! I would love the honors of knocking about the dojo with you! It would be a privilege to take a few shots in the head from such a noble person.

    As for Cora - I'm sure like my Annie (now 18) that she will never be old enough to start dating!

  2. Man, you got me. Nail-biting, leg shaking, dillydallying and general fidgeting is how I've shown "patience."