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What The CIA Man Said


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When I was in high school my brother bought me my first tool kit.

My dad had a bunch of tools in the garage that I would monkey around with.

But having my own tools was pretty cool.

If you are interested in martial arts, there are plenty to choose from.

If you only want to build self confidence, that's one thing.

If you want to participate in tournaments, that's something else.

But if you want to actually defend yourself in street-level situations, that's something else entirely.

It's one thing if you want to study philosophy, energy movement, breathing techniques.

But if you want to defend yourself in a biker bar, that requires a completely different set of skills.

One common complaint that kids have in high school, and even college is "When am I going to use this stuff?

For example, the quadratic equation is a way to find roots of un-factorable polynomials. 

(Dude, what?)

On it's own, it's not something anybody would likely use.

But it's much more important from a brain training perspective.

One of the fundamental concepts of the "Karate Kid" movies is repetitive muscle training.

The whole gimmick was to have the kid "wax on," and then "wax off" on a car.

But the Karate master was secretly building in the exact muscle memory of offensive and defensive moves.

Kind of a secret training technique.

But since most of us don't have a handy Karate master, we have to train ourselves.

Believe it or not, doing tons of boring and seemingly useless algebra problems is like "wax on, wax off" training for your brain.

One of my favorite movies is "Man on Fire," with Denzel Washington.

But only because of one VERY powerful quote.

He was training this young kid how to practice swimming for her upcoming competition.

His character was a washed out CIA assassin type, given a second chance at life via baby sitting this little girl.

While he was training, he delivered this wisdom (paraphrased):

"Whenever you find yourself in a situation, you don't rise to the occasion. You rise to your level of training."

This is very much a "wax on, wax off" philosophy.

The better you train, the better you'll perform.

If you don't train, you CAN'T perform.

Most people don't like to hear this.

Most people think that only by "thinking" an idea once or twice, they somehow become better behaviors.

That would be like watching a guy on YouTube play the piano, and then think you can play the piano the same.

How, and what should you train?

That depends on what you want to do.

But since thought precedes all action, you might consider training how you think.

How you imagine.

How you conjure up creative thoughts that define your life.

Your brain, after all, is the ultimate tool box.

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