The Secret of Success

I try to post something every two weeks but over this past month and a half I have had the hardest time finishing a thought. 6 weeks ago I was about to press publish on an essay espousing my view on success when I learned a good friend had passed away.


I generally scoff at most old psychological theory but when I heard of my friend’s passing, the 5 stages of grief hit me like a tsunami.  I tried to deny the reality of his death, I angrily punched my mattress in vain, asked the universe for my friend back and spent the rest of the day in a gut-wrenching malaise.


If you aren’t from the DFW area you may not have heard of this young man’s passing but if you are you saw this ( and immediately felt remorse for the loss of a selfless man.


My good friend was successful by anyone’s definition. He wasted no moments of his life, no time for frivolity, all endeavors pointed effortlessly towards a larger purpose, towards success.


In loss, grief and acceptance I learned that the best recovery comes with laughter and sharing. Continue reading ‘The Secret of Success’

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Mirror, Mirror Everywhere

Note: I have spent the past month trying to write a post on success. Each time I have a draft complete I discover something new through loss or joyful discovery. Today’s idea is extemporaneous and unfiltered – like most of my essays are. Success awaits, but not today. Today I ask the mirror: Can I leave my face behind?


When you look at another’s face, what do you see? Do you look for lines and wrinkles, check their hair, the size of their nose or the blemish they couldn’t conceal?  Are their features “better” than yours and does that make you want to hang your head and look away?


Reflected from the face of the other is the face we see every day.


When I look at you, I look first at your hair and the quality of your skin. I don’t do this consciously but I can’t help it because I practice in my mirror every day.


The challenge is clear: We must learn to see the faces of others without our reflection getting in the way.

Continue reading ‘Mirror, Mirror Everywhere’

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What Do You Love?

I wrote this while I was sick with a stomach virus. It makes me sound crazy (not terribly unusual)  but I think that makes it interesting. The question it begs is: What do you love and how can you know for sure?


“Someone on the radio this afternoon said that you should do what you love. This trite idea has been repeated to me hundreds of times and I have yet to grasp its meaning.

My head says:


Love is in the capacity of a noun to elicit interest and  joy but is powerless without the desire of the lover to seek it.


I don’t know what I love.

Continue reading ‘What Do You Love?’

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The Happiness Blueprint

Make the Good Times Slow

In most of my posts I rant about something that has filled my head and hindered my emotional life and then I wax pseudo-philosophical as to how I am trying to resolve it in my mind. Today, as the blind squirrel goes, I have stumbled upon something real to give. If you read this, internalize it, understand it and live it, you will experience your milieu in a novel, fresh way that may change you for the better.

A few days ago my boss brought up the common idea that time appears to pass quickly while she is having fun but asked the interesting question: is that a good thing or bad ? She said she doesn’t want to blink her eyes and wake up a 90yr old woman who may have had a good time during her life but because it passed so fast, she missed everything in the middle; a Catch-22 to be sure. If we enjoy an experience, time seems to pass quickly but if we get mired down and allow boredom to reign then we live slowly without pleasure and joy. Can we harness the good, fast moments and edge out the slow? The answer, as always, is in Tomkins but first some background ideas… Continue reading ‘The Happiness Blueprint’

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Life is Too Short

Life Is Too Short Not To Kiss Beautiful Girls

A fan of the Bachelor series messaged me the other day on Facebook: “You’re very handsome, I would love to go out with you or have you…you should train me :).”

My first reaction was to click on her photo (I am warm-blooded after all) but I thought twice and messaged her back with a diatribe about why I never date my clients. Never have, never will.

The rules we create for ourselves are the only rules we know are real.

The increasing permissiveness in our social environment simultaneously interests and infuriates me. Are these “social media sluts” making choices out of solipsistic narcissism or are they at peace with their wants and acting without fear? I pine for facile lucidity when struggling with my own desires. I’m perpetually caught between action and thought but how do I break free? (That paragraph was for you Ken.)

Claire (not her real name), an x-client, had a gym fan-base who would schedule their workouts around her training times with me. She caused a scene just by walking in the door. They would all come up and ask her Continue reading ‘Life is Too Short’

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Hiding Misery With a Smile?

Are We Hiding Misery With a Smile?

Is it commercialism that has influenced us to slide slowly away from the real? Sure we pretend to be engaged in our world; we even go so far as to construct houses and build personal facades that would make Myron jealous, but why? Why are we so intent on hiding so well? We spend most of our waking moments building and fortifying these barriers to the world. The empathic wall, sweeteners, salt, dressing, watches, jewelry, make-up, botox, pilates, protein shakes, over-priced cars, manicures, facials, “spa treatments”, pop-psychology, the Wall Street Journal, hair dye, contact lenses, jeans that fit just right, the perfectly decorated entry/condo/urban apartment…they all hide us from something. Are we hiding from others or are we really hiding from ourselves?

Do you know what your coffee, tea, breakfast or lunch really tastes like anymore? Why must we cover every taste, smell and real thing with something else? Our ancestors ate off the bush, out of the ground and kneeling over the fire. Our ancestors weren’t slaves to the norms of the group, they were an engaged in and an integral part of its creation and function. If the Alpha Male wanted a mate he chose and it was simple. He didn’t have Continue reading ‘Hiding Misery With a Smile?’

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Love Lost and Forever

Almost 10 years ago I lost out on true love’s game-show of life. In my defense, at the time, I didn’t even know that I was playing.

I was searching through my old files over Christmas break and stumbled upon this gem. I have protected her identity by calling her Girlfriend X. The letter and introduction is painful to read but miraculously it ends with a pleasant poem…


Friday, April 20, 2001

Hi Girlfriend X…

It seems our conversations on the phone haven’t been all that great for some time now. Snail mail seems much more personal these days. I was up late last night reading and thought I would write you a little note. Besides that I can’t email you since you are too important to give lowly pedestrian me your super-top-priority email address…just kidding cutie. Well here goes:

I will be honest…I was angry and disappointed with you for a little while. I wondered why you were doing the thing you were doing in the manner in which you were doing it. It seemed contrary to everything I have always known and loved about you. But now it is over and done. We cannot go back and change anything that has happened. You have been my friend or companion for more than five years, the majority of my adult life. I realize that being angry and not being there for you when you need someone is to neglect all that I have learned from and loved about you. I needed you to be there for me last summer and fall. I needed you to Continue reading ‘Love Lost and Forever’

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I Wish I Was You

As I drive around West Fort Worth I share the road with the nicest cars money can buy. Today I saw the same cars that I always do but looked on with the least desire I have felt since I was 8 years old. As a teenager I used to pretend that I didn’t care what other people were driving compared to me or my parents…but truthfully I did. I wanted a nicer car and dreamed how much more important it would make me feel. When I saw someone driving a car worth less than the one I was in I would look snobbishly down the hood at them; I pretended they were less important than me. I assigned them some arbitrary status based upon steel, leather and plastic. When and from where did this abhorrent wrestler appear and how do I reverse his grasp?

Continue reading ‘I Wish I Was You’

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Everyone is Faking It

When I was a kid I thought all grown-ups knew everything.

As a teenager I thought doctors knew everything.

Until college I thought massage and physical therapists knew everything about the muscles and tissue.

Until the last few years I thought that all psychiatrists and psychologists knew everything about human thought and why we act.

Until today I thought people in TV were the only ones who could create something smart enough to be produced.

They are all faking it.

Continue reading ‘Everyone is Faking It’

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Two Milky Ways

Old post but it may be new to you…

Originally titled:

I threw two Milky Ways out the window tonight

The deeper I tumble down the rabbit hole that is Sylvan S. Tomkins’ Script Theory, the more I feel I am actually falling up. Upwards towards enlightenment. I’ve tried meditation and self-help. They offered me quiet introspection, lots of self-jargon and two swollen knees. I, with the words of the zen masters in my head telling me that the pain of the lotus position and of sitting is a key part of the meditation, sat in zazen for over an hour once and as a 6’5″ 260lb man it’s not as good an idea as it seems. I woke up the next day with two grapefruits instead of knees. So now when I meditate I “cheat” and lay down or sit in a nice comfortable chair.

As I fall upwards through damage-repair, limitation-remediation, contamination-decontamination, toxic-antitoxic and a hundred other scripts I realize how easily we can change our behavior once we understand it. Continue reading ‘Two Milky Ways’

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Why Ruin Life With Children?

Originally posted on Myspace and reposted on facebook, I want to get everything on one page…

Originally titled:

Why in this “me” generation would I want to ruin life by having children?

I have always assumed I would have children because my parents and relatives have them and it’s what I know. Some very smart, capable and generous people that I love have decided not to have kids…but why?

Why would I bring such a burden into my life? Time, money, hassle and headache…why subject myself?

Continue reading ‘Why Ruin Life With Children?’

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Tragedy is Beautiful

My life is full of tragedy because it is full of beauty. Two people I love have recently been diagnosed with brain cancer. A girl who I think I might love just thinks of me as a fling.

Continue reading ‘Tragedy is Beautiful’

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Are You Evolving?

Or are you being left behind?

I was listening to NPR and the host brought up the Michael Vick dog fighting story. He spoke briefly about the seriousness of Michael’s crimes being up for debate. I assumed that I was the only one who was ambivalent about the story. Apparently there are others.

Michael Vick deserved to go to jail, he committed a stupid, pointless crime and got caught. He deserved to be punished for this. The uproar in the media and among animal rights activists regarding his transgressions seemed excessive. Where is the outrage when every Friday night 22 teenage boys are set out onto a field and told to go kill another human being? Where is the outrage when MMA fighters are unleashed for 3 Continue reading ‘Are You Evolving?’

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Four S’s For Fitness Success

Origionally posted in June:

How many of us are currently trying to lose weight or change our body composition?  If I am honest about my own habits and idiosyncratic weight loss behaviors I am probably trying to change my body composition about 80% of the time!  The important question is not whether this behavior is good or bad, because let’s be frank we are all going to do it, but how can we go about it in the healthiest way possible?  I’d like to share with you four important S’s I have observed in 20 years of fitness experience.

Continue reading ‘Four S’s For Fitness Success’

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