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On Taking Consistent Action vs. Constantly Complaining

You cannot tell whether a person is good or bad by his vicissitudes in life. Good and bad fortunes are matters of fate. Good and bad actions are Man’s Way. – Hagakure

Three serious surgeries in four months — the dude faced it all, head-on, like a champ. And he never complained once. My brother is my frickin’ hero.

Honestly, I know you really don’t give a shit about my brother’s lot in life. Most people read blogs just to acquire very specific information — learn a new healthy recipe or exercise, figure out just the right amount of carbs to eat for fat loss, hacks to add zeros to your bank accounts or followers to your fan base, etc.

It’s a greet and tweet-style world these days baby. You want to get in, grab the goods, get out, and get on with your life. I get it man.

Sometimes when I’m reading a fitness blog and the author goes off on a tangent (like I am about to do today) about their personal philosophy, life lessons, role models, or worldviews, I start thinking to myself, “Shut the hell up already and just tell me how many grams of protein to eat to pack on more muscle. Go write about your feelings in a fucking journal Angela Landsbury.”

Murder She Wrote

Hahahaha…ironic coming from me, huh, the master of philosophy infused fitness and long-winded posts? But I at least know the truth — most people online these days, including myself, think our opinions matter way more than they actually do.

The democratization of media platforms has created an illusion that we’re all mini-celebrities living in our own reality shows. Well, as we know, regardless of the ratings, most reality shows are full of useless crap. For the most part, they are really just about ego building, ego projection, or ego masturbation for the self-proclaimed “stars”.

But then again…

I also think that sometimes being an open book about pretty much everything, and speaking (or writing) about whatever is on your mind at that moment in time, without a filter, is one of the best ways to help those around you. I mean with most content these days being pre-scripted with a hidden agenda, that rawness is one of the few places where some real value remains.

So it’s kind of a Catch 22 for me as a writer. Should I share what’s on my mind from time to time based on my life experiences, or never drift from the 6-pack script?

I don’t know man. I’d rather roll with the randomness of it all then try to fit everything into some fake online persona or PR-crafted brand. So sometimes I favor an artist’s mentality — puke some stuff up from the gut and then just see where it goes.

This is one of those posts. And I respect your time enough to forewarn you of that.

But that’s the beauty of blogs. We both win regardless.

Whether its the straightforward strategies or the extra stuff once in a while, you get to decide whether you want to click away to something else (keep that hippie bullshit to yourself homeboy) or continue on because the topic for the day sounds relevant to what you got going on in your life.

As a writer, I get to ensure that the blog stays an authentic expression of who I am, and what I’m passionate about. And right now, at this very moment in time, I’m most passionate about motivating people to stop fucking complaining about everything, and to start taking action about whatever it is that they are constantly complaining about.

Because baby, I just can’t take it anymore.

THE BEST LESSONS COME FROM THOSE WHO LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know…The Master doesn’t talk. He acts…He teaches without teaching. – Tao Te Ching

There are plenty of pontificating gurus that talk one way, but live another. That’s why their advice sounds good in theory, but falls flat in the real world. If you constantly follow frauds, you might get that “rah-rah” feeling once in a while, but most likely will keep getting nowhere with your personal growth or goals.

I’ve always learned the most from people who live a certain way and lead by example. They take action and just do what they do infinitely more than they talk about it. They are the grinders, not the attention grabbers. They prefer the solitude of the process more so than any praise that comes from the glorification of it.

But ironically and unfortunately for the rest of us, these types of people are rarely writers, coaches, teachers, or blog posters. They don’t like theorizing about strategies. They don’t care to commercialize them. They are too busy living them.

If you want to learn from these rare people, the only option is the old school method of apprenticeship. You just spend as much time with them as they will allow, and absorb what you can along the way.

Much lesser men like me might write about these people from time to time, and attempt to translate lessons from the way they live into some actionable strategies. That’s what I am trying to do with this post.

It’s an honorable task for a hero’s sidekick I think. Otherwise, those valuable lessons would be lost amongst the modern sea of bullshit artists. At least with some strategies that have passed the real world effectiveness test, the rest of us get to try to do the best we can with them.

A WALK TO REMEMBER

What IS is more important than WHAT SHOULD BE. Too many people are looking at “what is” from a position of thinking “what should be”. — Bruce Lee.

One such glorious hero I’ve been lucky enough to learn from is Chaz Michaels Michaels. But that’s mainly in the physique, performance sports, and performance art realms…

"Just thought you'd like to see what a skater's body really looks like. Go ahead, drink it in. Don't be shy.

“Just thought you’d like to see what a skater’s body really looks like. Go ahead, drink it in. Don’t be shy.”

Since this is a post about personal philosophy and living life a certain way, I want to tell you about another dude I’ve been lucky enough to learn from — my brother.

You don’t need to know the details, but suffice it to say that my brother was born with a variety of serious medical conditions — so much so that he had over a dozen surgeries by the time he was 18. The hospital was a second home for him as a kid.

At my mom’s funeral, my brother told us a story that he had never told us before. It has been stuck in my head ever since. That was almost 18 months ago.

He told the story about how one night he was up late in the hospital after one of his surgeries, complaining away, and asking questions like, “why me, why me?”

My mom took his hands and told him that it was OK to be angry, it was OK to cry, and it was OK to be scared. But the one thing she didn’t want to hear from him was a bunch of whining and complaining.

My mom then took him over and walked him through the children’s cancer wing. My brother saw kids his own age battling not just to get normal physiological processes functioning like he was. They were battling for their very lives.

“Someone, somewhere, always has it way worse than you do son. So quit fucking complaining.”

Now I doubt she said that to him in that situation, when he was a kid. But I guarantee that’s how Ol’ Patty would say it to him, me, you, or anyone else within earshot, right now, if she were still around.

My brother went on to say that was the one lesson he learned from our mom that he would remember forever.

And it’s something I’ve learned from him. He never actually talked about that until the funeral. But he’s lived that lesson every day of his life, ever since I can remember. And in the end, the way you live is the post powerful and impactful teacher to those around you. And that’s regardless of whether you are setting a good or bad example.

We all knew about my brother’s unique health conditions growing up. As unfair as they were for any kid to have to deal with, I often wondered why I never heard him complain about anything. Ever. Not even once! He just faced everything head-on, and persevered through whatever came his way.

SOME LESSONS LAST A LIFETIME

Courage is gritting one’s teeth; it is simply doing that and pushing ahead, paying no attention to the circumstances. — Hagakure.

Unfortunately, complications from my brother’s hereditary issues have resurfaced. And as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, he has recently undergone 3 surgeries in the last 4 months in an attempt to get important physiological processes functioning properly again.

I’ve been spending more time with my brother throughout, and as a result we have re-kindled the student/teacher apprenticeship of our childhood.

And I needed it man. Being with my brother made me realize I had developed some bad habits living in the Silicon Bay in America Y2K.

Most despicably, I had become an entitled complainer, complaining about everything. This or that happened. I deserved this or that. Such and such is unfair and unjust, I want what so and so has without actually working for it, etc.

Watching my brother deal with his situation, without complaining, was the bitch slap in the face I needed. I originally thought I was hanging out more to help him. But I soon realized despite his situation, it was really the way it always has been — he was the one helping me infinitely more, by just living a certain way.

Now it’s not like my bro is one of those happy-go-lucky, positive talk people that you know is more fucked up than anyone. “Hey, I just had 3 surgeries and I feel fantastic. Everything happens for a reason because life is all about flowers and sunshine. Lets go get a snow cone.”

I mean he would tell it like it is if you asked, “I’m in a lot of pain. Its like a 9.” “Yeah dude, I feel awful. It sucks.” “I don’t know if I can take another surgery. The body can only bounce back so many times.” Etc.

But the difference between most people these days is that his words were few and far between a ton of action. My brother did what he needed to do on a daily basis to get through. He kept putting one foot in front of the other and walking on, instead of whining on and on. That’s what he’s always done.

I meant it when I said it – my brother is my hero. Now I know he’s just a piece of shit to you (because you don’t know him, so why the hell would you care?). Regardless, maybe his story and style will help you with whatever challenges or adversity you are facing in your own life. The main lesson is this…

TAKE ACTION MORE THAN COMPLAIN

It is not what happens that counts. It is how you react. Your mental attitude determines what you make of it, either a stepping stone or stumbling block. – Bruce Lee

The Land of Opportunity has become The Land of Entitlement. We’ve become a bunch of whiners, a bunch of complainers these days. Online, in the coffee shop, at work, etc. — bitching and moaning about every little thing — the disease is everywhere. The worst part is it is highly contagious. It’s gone airborne.

The tough love truth is that every second that you waste complaining about something is one that you could have used to make a change. And no one ever got anywhere, or improved their situation, by complaining. It is wasted effort.

It’s easy to question one’s fate in any aspect of life, especially when it’s not going your way. That is the natural reaction and certainly understandable. For the most part, however, it’s wasted energy.

We can’t change the challenges that life has put in front of us. We can feel sorry for ourselves. We can wish our situation were different. But the hand that has been dealt is the hand that has been dealt.

In the end, you gotta play the game with what you’ve got. You can waste precious time focusing on what you can’t control, and then just fold.  Or you can focus on the moves that you actually can make, take some bold actions, and make a play at winning the game.

So put one foot in front of the other, walk on, and make a difference. Don’t bitch, and don’t wait around for a savior to come solve all of your problems for you. Do your best to solve them for yourself.

Thanks brother for teaching me this lesson, and allowing me to share it with my friends here. It has helped me more than you could ever know. And I hope this random rant ultimately helps a few of you too.

THE (QUIT) BITCHING SUMMARY

No Whining Zone

When you understand what I am telling you, apply what you have learned to your everyday life…I am not interested with your talk about my ideas. I am more interested in your applying them to your life. ~Miyamoto Musashi

  1. There is always someone who has it way better than you, and there is always someone who has it way worse than you. Who gives a shit? Either way, it doesn’t effect what you need to do to get through your own struggles, and improve your own situation.
  1. So stop fucking complaining already (that’s from my mama).
  1. Instead, take action, and start changing the situation that you are complaining about. Sure, we all gotta let shit out from time-to-time.  But I believe it should be at least a 3:1 action-to-bitching ratio.
  1. Most importantly, don’t Just Read or Talk About It. Just Do It.
  1. And finally, don’t expect a pat on the back. The true reward is realizing that you are the master of your own ship, no matter how rough or smooth the sea can be sometimes.

Nate’s New Book For 99 Cents: A One Day 8/13 Sale

RISE ABOVE: 7 STRATEGIES TO CRUSH ADVERSITY

Sometimes life can throw you some curveballs. Every once in a while, it lands a freakin’ haymaker right on your chin. If you don’t believe that, you haven’t been alive long enough.

Adversity. We all face it my friend.

In our sports, or our health and fitness endeavors. How can you overcome the odds and succeed against great challenges or competition? How can you stay on track in a world full of temptations and distractions? How can you come back from failed game plans, devastating losses, or unexpected injuries and setbacks?

In our business or career pursuits. How can you merge passion and personal fulfillment with professional and financial success? How can you keep fighting on if your first attempts fail? How can reach your goals while sticking to your core values, and without burning out, breaking, or giving up?

In our personal life and relationships. How can you best support those that are suffering and struggling around you? How can you deal with your own baggage and bullshit? How do you find some peace of mind and clarity amongst the modern chaos?

Life can be full of challenges. Instead of running from them when they do arise, staying in bed to hide, burying your head in the sand to procrastinate, or drowning your sorrow in drugs to escape; you are better off developing the right mindset to roll with it all, whatever may come. Read the rest of this entry

10 Warrior Quotes to Face Your Challenges Today

As I was working on “The Way of the Cancer Warrior” project this morning, these quotes reminded me of my dad, and the fierce battle he fought against cancer. Who he was and what he did continues to inspire me every day.

Now maybe you will see these and think, dude, you need to grow up. You’re a frickin’ 35 year-old quoting warrior philosophy like a teenager, and literally thinks he is a modern day Ronin (a vagabond, a samurai with no master). Get a haircut and get a real job.

But maybe, just maybe, they will help you face some struggle or challenge you are facing today, with courage and conviction.

THE WARRIOR’S WAY

1. No matter what it is, there is nothing that cannot be done. If one manifests the determination, he can move heaven and earth as he pleases. — Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai.

2. Do not think of possible outcomes until you have finished with your battle. To do so is foolish and takes your mind off the primary objective, which is to destroy the enemy. ~Miyamoto Musashi

3. The power of faith – thoughts backed by faith will overcome all obstacles…Faith makes it possible to achieve that which man’s mind can conceive and believe. It is a well known fact that one comes, finally, to believe whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement be true or false…Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind. ~Bruce Lee

4. This will be accomplished if only courage is fixed in one’s heart. If one’s sword is broken, he will strike with his hands. If his hands are cut off, he will press the enemy down with his shoulders. If his shoulders are cut away, he will bite through ten or fifteen enemy necks with his teeth. Courage is such a thing. — Hagakure: Book of the Samurai.

5. The warrior does not depend on anything but himself to beat the enemy… Only through a constant search from within, based on one’s own lifestyle, can the truth be known. It is absolutely a personal thing. Commercialism does nothing to enhance the reality of truth. ~ Miyamoto Musashi

The Way of The Warrior

6. Do not acknowledge the possibility that the enemy is stronger than you are. Do not accept the possibility that the enemy is smarter than you are in any way whatsoever…The Way of the warrior does not permit you to accept an inferior position to anything. ~ Miyamoto Musashi

7. Flexibility is a very important attitude. Things will not always go your way regardless of your practice and your attempts to define your own existence…You attack with a technique and it does not work. You try it again and it still does not work. Switch! You must never rely on only one particular attitude to get a job done. The enemy may be prepared for this technique in a way that you may not have anticipated, so it is indeed foolish to try to continue with it. ~Miyamoto Musashi

8. By thinking you must complete the job you will run out of time. By considering things like how many men the enemy has, time piles up; in the end you will give up. No matter if the enemy has thousands of men, there is fulfillment in simply standing them off and being determined to cut them all down, starting from one end. You will finish the greater part of it. – Hagakure: Book of the Samurai

9. The only shame in dying incorrectly is to die a stupid and meaningless death. To die as a warrior means to have crossed swords and either won or lost without any consideration for winning or losing. ~Miyamoto Musashi

10. If a retainer will just think about what he is to do for the day at hand, he will be able to do anything.  If it is a single day’s work, one should be able to put up with it.  Tomorrow, too, is but a single day. — Hagakure.

Thanks pops for showing me Your Way. I miss you man...

Thanks pops for showing me Your Way.  I miss you man…

 

5 Lessons From a Cancer Warrior

I don’t consider myself a professional writer.  I’m just a guy who is passionate about sharing strategies that have personally helped me as an athlete, in my training career, and in my life in general.  That’s really all you can do to try and help others with the tools you have at your disposal.

It just so happens that one of the primary ways I share my experiences and knowledge is through writing.

So with the burden of trying to keep a “professional writer” image gone, I’ve kind of always envisioned writing as putting down on paper the types of conversations I’d have with you if we were just hanging out at a bar as friends.  It’s way more fun, and I believe, more effective that way.  We can lose the pretentiousness and just get down to sharing some strategies that we’ve learned through our experiences, and think will help each other out moving forward.

Sorry, that’s why you have to put up with da locker room language and teenage humor.  Just ignore it/skip over it.  I can’t help myself.

This approach is good and bad for you.  It’s good because you won’t get the normal bullshit from me that you sometimes see in our industry.   It’s bad because sometimes I stray off topic, and go beyond the world of sports bras and jock straps.  But I hope you have some kind of a life outside of the gym, man.  And if I think something can help you outside of the glamorous world of Ken & Barb & Carbs, I’m going to share it.  Why not?

This is one of those posts.  So if you hate da philosophical stuff, log out and check back another day. I’m sure I’ll have another “how to get your 6-pack” article up soon.

THE LIFE & FIGHT OF A LEGEND

August 6th is my dad’s birthday.  He would have been 76.

For four years, my dad faced some kind of challenge every single day in his battle against cancer.  Yet he kept putting one foot in front of the other, marching on, and fighting with a warrior’s spirit.  He was the most honorable, courageous man I’ve ever known.

But unfortunately, not all tales have a Hollywood ending.  About a month ago, my dad passed on.  Sometimes the real life ending is hard – its really frickin’ hard to be 100% honest — but it’s also what ultimately teaches us the most valuable lessons in life.

the warrior spirit

Lessons live forever (source)

When he started his treatment, I originally set out to inspire my dad with a few words of encouragement.  Over the last few years, he has inspired me, and everyone else around him, infinitely more.

I’ve had time to sit back and reflect on what kind of man he was, and the many lessons his life and his fight taught me along the way.  They helped me put things in proper perspective.  They helped me break some bad habits I’ve formed living in Y2K – stressing about relatively meaningless shit, feeling entitled, looking for quick fixes and the easy way, whining, etc. – character traits those of even a generation ago would see as shameful, and a warrior would see as despicable.

Most importantly, they helped me face my own challenges and struggles in life, head on.  I hope they somehow help you too.

You don’t have to be battling cancer to benefit from these strategies by the way.  You can take these lessons and apply them to whatever challenges you are facing in life – in fitness, health, your career, your relationships, getting laid, etc. Your personal battles are the most important battles in the entire world to you.  I get that man.  You don’t really give a shit about me or my dad.

But I feel that these strategies can give you good weapons to attack whatever struggles you are dealing with at the moment. And if life is rolling for you right now, awesome.  Holster them for another day.

Lesson #1 Don’t Complain About Your Circumstances.  Embrace the Challenge.

What IS is more important than WHAT SHOULD BE.  Too many people are looking at “what is” from a position of thinking “what should be”…no matter what some people will say, barriers are not the experience of any one person, or any one group of persons.  They are the universal experience.   — Bruce Lee

You have every right to be scared, angry, jealous, bitter, frustrated, or resentful when things in life aren’t quite going your way.  You have every right to feel sorry for yourself, and to curse the world when your situation sucks.  But at some point, you will have to just drop it all and play (and win) this game of life with the hand you’ve been given.

cancer motivation

Any hand can win if you play it right.

Whether our circumstances are God’s plan, an act of the gods, fate, pure coincidence, good or bad luck, or whatever else you believe in is of no real significance.

Because one thing is for certain man – you can’t change the reality of the situations and challenges you face no matter how much you wish things were different.  But you can change your reactions to them, your actions to improve or overcome them, and your every day state of mind to better deal with them.

Sure my dad had a few bellyaches and grumblings from time to time.  But given the situations he faced and the side effects he experienced, I would say the ratio of complaining to taking action was very small.  I think he knew that complaining about your circumstances is just wasted energy.

I like to think I’m like a ronin, a wave man – being flexible, adapting, rolling with whatever comes, being like water, etc.  But my dad truly was The Wave Man.  He just dealt with what came when it came.  And unfortunately, the shit just kept coming.  It made no difference.  He embraced every challenge in the warrior’s Way.

Actually, it was amazing to me how the dude never really lost his trademark smile through it all.  With IV’s sticking out of him and having to talk through a trachea tube, he still managed to crack a joke and a smile from time to time.  As death came for him, he laughed in its face.

What the hell is so bad that you can’t do the same?

You know how your story started and where it’s at right now.  Go out and write yourself a happy ending.  Happy ending?  Yes please…hahahahhahaha!!!!

2. The Only Real Secret Formula is Accountability + Action = Results

There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself. – Miyamoto Musashi

Remember, there is no fate but what we make (Sarah Conner, Terminator 2).

no fate but what we make Terminator 2

Thank You Carolco Pictures for a rocking Linda Hamilton!

This is a continuation of the first lesson.  What’s the antidote to letting life push you around and complaining about your circumstances?  Taking both personal accountability and action.  Every time you are about to complain about your circumstances, just take an action to change them.  It shifts the focus away from the things you can’t change onto the things that you can.

Listen man, I don’t know how your personal story, or even my own, is going to play out in the end.  But I can guarantee you one thing – doing nothing is the worst possible option of all.  Nothing ever changes.  No situation ever improves by sitting on the sidelines of life complaining about how everyone has it better or easier than you.

That’s true for both the short-term and long-term goals that you may have.

The Old Timer and I never really had the sit down, father-to-son, do this or that type of lectures.  And I never needed them, because he taught me more about life and what it means to be a good, honorable, and courageous man then I could have ever asked for – not through meaningless words, but through infinitely more meaningful action.

He was one of those leaders and teachers by example, which I think is the best kind.  Anyone can tell you what to do.  Few can actually show you.

And dammit, he was a true cancer warrior.  Tests, treatments, dietary intervention, exercise, occupational therapy, etc., he didn’t just say he was going to fight.  He took action and fought.

As is the case with anything in life — including his cancer battle and your own personal struggles — it is not what you read, think, analyze, plan, calculate, or talk about in this world that brings results.  It is all about what you DO.

When in doubt, when your world seems like its caving in on you, when you seem just as about as far away from your goals as you can possibly be, just put one foot in front of the other, and as Bruce Lee said, keep walking on.

Make one definitive move towards your goals daily.  Constant improvement. The road to any destination in life starts with a single step, and is finished by continually putting one foot in front of the other.

If you just sit around whining, you won’t get anything except probably a boil on your ass the size of a grapefruit.

3. Focus on the Task at Hand

If a retainer will just think about what he is to do for the day at hand, he will be able to do anything.  If it is a single day’s work, one should be able to put up with it.  Tomorrow, too, is but a single day. — Hagakure.

I’ll never forget sitting alone with my dad after a family party talking about his treatment plan.  He said, “Well, it’s either going to work or I’ll be out of here.  So I might as well give it a chance to work.  What’s there to be worried about?”

I remember I had been stressed out about something that day.  Once his words hit my ears, I immediately felt like a schmuck.

We live in a modern world where we are all over-stressed, anxious, and flat-out scatter brained.  Distraction is all around us.  It is the norm.  It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of this modern shuffle.  I’m guilty of this often.  I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel like I got a cartoon going on up in my head.

How to stay focused

Hack Away the Unessential

What ends up happening is we do a bunch of things with mediocrity, yet accomplish nothing of great value.  Or we burn out and look for escapes, distractions from the chaos that has become our life.  Sometimes it takes a slap in the face to calm down and concentrate.

We need to narrow our focus, especially if it is something as important as, I don’t know, literally fighting for your life.  And isn’t trying to improve your life somehow (fitness, finances, business, relationships) also a figurative way of fighting for your life.

So you have this major goal you want to achieve.  Take a brief look up at the mountaintop, the end goal.  Give yourself a day to completely freak out, panic, and stress.  But then regroup, because the truth is, if you want to maintain some semblance of sanity, you just can’t worry too much about whether or not you can actually make it up that mountain.

Don’t overanalyze so much that you become so paralyzed with fear that you never take a single step.  And don’t wait around for some magic pill-like carpet ride to transport you there with no effort or sacrifice.  Prey like that get eaten by sharks.  Put your head down, and start walking up the path.  Do something man.

You’re either going to make it up or you aren’t.  Don’t let lack of effort be the determining factor.

That’s what my dad did anyways.  He focused on each task he had to do, for a single day, then the next, then the next, and so forth.  I think that’s the main reason why he lasted way longer than any of his doctors originally predicted.

One of those tasks was even a sponge bath from an attractive nurse.  See, you never know what fun may come if you just start off along a certain path.

4. Do Your Duty

 By thinking you must complete the job you will run out of time.  By considering things like how many men the enemy has, time piles up; in the end you will give up.  No matter if the enemy has thousands of men, there is fulfillment in simply standing them off and being determined to cut them all down, starting from one end.  You will finish the greater part of it. – Hagakure

I don’t believe anyone should be forced to do anything they don’t want to do in life.  That’s one of the freedoms that most of us take for granted here in America.  We have the right and the privilege to choose whatever path we desire.  Some have a much harder road than others, for sure.  But ultimately, for most of us, what we decide to pursue in life comes down to choice.

If an athlete doesn’t think he can endure grueling training sessions, if he can’t stand a little pain, if he doesn’t want to sacrifice some of the luxuries of the average, and if he doesn’t want to challenge himself against great competition, he shouldn’t choose to try and be a champion.

But if he does make that choice, he owes it to himself to dive in, put forth his greatest effort, and leave his heart and soul on the battlefield.  That way, when he walks away, he will have no regrets regardless of the outcome.

If you are just going to “half-ass” it, or just go through the motions because theoretically that is what you are supposed to do, you might as well not even start.  Find something else you are more passionate about.

My dad knew that fighting cancer was an even more daunting task than trying to become a champion in sports.  He knew he would have to sacrifice, persevere, endure, and face insurmountable obstacles and odds (stage 4, terminal cancer). So it certainly would have been understandable if he had decided to walk away and not fight, right from the outset.

But once he decided to pick up that sword and fight, he owed it to himself and everyone else around him to give it his best effort.  And that’s exactly what he did.  He did his duty, he did what he promised to do, and he went out like a hero, fighting until the end.

5. Treat Everyone Like Family

If every man would help his neighbor, no man would be without help. – Bruce Lee

I guess that’s why he got along with my wife and da other Hawaiians in our extended family.

My dad welcomed everyone into his home with open arms.  He made everyone feel loved, accepted, and as part of the family right away.  He even had a way of making pieces of shit feel like they were something special.  And if he could help you out, he wouldn’t even think twice about it.

My dad had friends from a variety of ethnicities and walks of life – engineers, entrepreneurs, housewives, construction workers, cooks, gamblers, fishermen, etc.  I think one of his buddies was in a biker gang?

He would go out fishing with the old timers one day, and the next day (when me and my brother were playing around town in a rock band) he’d show up at a ruckus nightclub and hang out with all of our friends at the bar like the Most Interesting Japanese Man Alive.

That’s why the credo on this site is and always will be: we don’t care who you are, where you’re from, who you pray to (or if you pray at all), where in the world you’re hanging, who you’re banging (as long as legal and consensual), etc.  If you’re down with fitness, physique, warrior strategy, or Da Beach mentality, then we’re down with you.

I don’t know man.  I think most prejudices stem from archaic traditions, lack of knowledge, lack of good sex, jealousy, and most often, lack of self-confidence.  If you are truly comfortable with who you are, where you come from, and what you’re doing, and you’re getting laid regularly, why would you give a shit about someone else’s origins or path (as long as they aren’t taking advantage of or hurting anyone)?

Do your thing, let others do theirs, and if there is some overlap, embrace the connection.

THE WAY OF THE CANCER WARRIOR

I think the saddest part of losing my dad is I won’t have someone like him around to show me the Warrior’s Way in life.  Yeah, I can read books and watch movies and whatnot.  But he was one of the few that lived it.  Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to carry out the lessons he’s already shown me.  It’s probably enough for a mere mortal to last a few lifetimes.

You know, I was going somewhere with this damn blog post. Sorry it became so personal.  Oh yeah:

1. Moving forward, this blog will forever be dedicated to my old man.  I’ll miss you my friend.

2. One of the last things he said to me was, “keep writing. I like it.”  Fucking guy.  Like I didn’t have enough on my plate already trying to live up to his legacy.  He had to throw that one at me at the end?

Well, I didn’t want my first official project after his passing to be something as meaningless as “How to Get a 6-Pack”.  There are people out there facing real challenges in life.

So next week (hopefully), I’m going to be releasing a book I’ve been working on for the last few years during my dad’s treatment.

What’s the elevator pitch?  It basically takes warrior philosophy, martial arts strategies, and sports psychology principles and applies them to the battle against cancer.  But really, they can be applied to any challenges you are facing in life.

Here’s the cover:

motivational cancer books

The goal is to give people some motivation and good strategies.  We will also be trying to raise some money for cancer research and foundations.  I will admit that selfishly, maybe it is a way for me to somehow stay connected with my dad, and ensure that his energy, lessons, and legacy live on.

We don’t really know what the hell we’re doing, and don’t really have a formal plan, but if you want to join us on what could be a very fun and rewarding ride, stay tuned.