No-Mind/No-Distractions (Mushin)

How to Pursue Your Passion and NOT Become Successfully Miserable

Several years ago, I followed the common business advice of the day on how to pursue your passion.  First, find something you’re truly passionate about.  Second, pursue it obsessively.  And then third, become wildly successful and wealthy!  Easy, right?  All you have to do is work longer and harder than anyone else. Be smarter and stronger than everyone. Sacrifice everything to achieve your dream.

Get Close to the Problem

The toughest Aikido martial arts class I ever taught was a bunch of teenage girls. I’d been brought in to teach at one of the most exclusive, private all-girl prep schools in Washington, DC. The kids in this school were straight out of the movie Mean Girls — privileged, entitled, ruling their own corner of the world.

Musubi — Connection

My daughter is two years old now and weighs about 25 pounds.  Picking her up after her nap when she is still a little drowsy and relaxed is very easy — she lifts her arms up, gives me a sleepy smile, and into my arms she comes.  Trying to pick her up when she is a screaming, squirming two-year-old-tyrant throwing a temper tantrum is next to impossible.  So why is it so difficult, if not impossible, to pick up my daughter when she is throwing a temper tantrum?  She still only weighs 25 pounds.  I can easily pick up 25 pounds with one arm.

Scientific Benefits of Mindful Meditation

The irony was, I humbly requested to be hit by the kind, grandfatherly Zen master.  I was practicing mindful meditation at a Zen temple in Japan, and as part of the 45-minute zazensession — seated Zen meditation — there comes a part where you have the option of requesting to be hit.  Why?  Well you may be sleepy or suffering from a wandering “monkey mind”. 

我慢 Gaman — Persevere

A few weeks ago I passed my 12th anniversary of being cancer free.  Each year when my anniversary comes around, I pause to reflect on what it is like to battle and survive cancer — twice.I would arrive at the cancer center at 8 AM, Monday through Friday and leave around 2 PM.  I would have blood drawn to check various markers and other important indicators that I never really understood.  Then I’d be hooked up to an I.V. to start the toxic drips of various cancer drugs and saline solution necessary to battle my disease.  When I was not at the cancer center receiving treatment, I was at home curled up in the fetal position…

Where Are Your Strengths Holding You Back? (Part 2)

This is a continuation from my last blog post where I talk about how your strengths can hold you back and prevent you from truly achieving success.A few weeks ago on my last trip to Japan, I was viscerally reminded of this important principle while working out with my Aikido master.  I’m 20+ years younger than him, stronger, faster, bigger and the list goes on.  Yet when I grabbed him, it was like trying to grab water — he flowed, relaxed, and moved effortlessly. 

Where Are Your Strengths Holding You Back? (Part 1)

Several years ago, I followed the common business advice of the day to “pursue your passion”.  And I did.  I left a well-paying job in corporate America to start a business doing something I was truly passionate about and very good at doing.  That’s the American dream, right?  Find something you’re truly passionate about, pursue it obsessively, and become wildly successful and wealthy, right?

Creating Team Results

A few years back when I was managing a high-performing sales team, I had one particular fellow who was wildly talented, yet was underperforming.  Our compensation plan was amazing — our sales team could literally make as much money as they wanted depending on how hard they worked.  After two months of poor results, I finally called this “weak link” into my office to talk.  Although my other sales folks where killing it, without all of my team hitting their numbers, we were still going to fall short of achieving our team goal.