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The Strong Man

January 15, 2016

Theodore Rosevelt Once wrote about achieving goals. It was a very inspiring poem for many decades. And it still is powerful.  Here it is...


It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 



We all have stories. Where we have failed. Where we have given up. Where we listened to others, and perhaps used others as an excuse for our own weakness. Justified our failure with lame excuses, or blamed others. Struck a few nerves? I understand. But this post is not to guilt you...but inspire you! Forget about the Turkeys that want to bring you down! Remember...you are above them, so don't let them drag you to their level!



Anthony Robbins was a large influence to me in my younger years. He reminded me that our words dictate our thoughts, and our thoughts govern our habits. Habits influence our emotions, and usually it's our emotions that end up either defeating us or helping us exceed. If this is true, and in my experience it has proven so: We need to assess each directly. So let's do so...but first, let's watch a wonderful little clip from the Man himself. Enjoy these few minutes and we will come back. Understand, there is a reason I am writing this. I am currently sitting on some very exciting news, and it's only because of our steadfastness (big word) and motivation to build An Ancient Arts Academy, that these wonderful events have come to fruition. Listen to Tony...


Your environment influences your emotions. Your attitude is controlled by your emotions. Your actions inflence your goals. These concepts are key!

Your biography doesn't determine success...it's your emotional fitness that does. You need to develope some certain patterns/habits of emotional workouts!


Emotional Fitness could also be called psychological strength. Master your own emotions, otherwise there is no hope for you. Sorry to be blunt. I'm not talking about positve thinking or faking your emotions...I'm talking about being truthful with yourself, and see things as they are, but not WORSE than they are. Conquer the fear....quit being gutless...that's not courageous. Be smart: see it as it is, then make it better. Discipline folks. Now: then see it BETTER than it is...get a vision! Without a vision, the people Perish. The future needs to be compelling. Strategize to then MAKE it that way. Make it simple....but make it!

Then FOCUS on it.


People on the sideline can seriously affect all your plans, if you let them influence your emotions. if you are looking for support, I hate to say it: But I must. You have to look for support within the plan. That is...the people who are onboard with you and working with you to make it happen.


Another problem you may face is time: Set goals, but expect things to come along that will try and derail you...and do you know what? You may look back in time and realize that those drailments were actually blessings in disguise. I have had many individuals and groups of people criticize me because my timeline was out. I expected to have the Ancient Arts School by 2015...but now it's 2016. I must have failed, right? Lost my credibility, right? Do I have a school yet? Maybe...that's the good news. The reality is this: I did not quit, despite losing friends along the way, and my disassociating myself from the users and abusers. But I am better off for it. I am sad, but refreshed...because I do not need those in my life that will try and influence my emotions...because then I will be proving them correct, won't I?


How can we get control of our emotions? By being courageous. By being strong. Making your dream bigger than your fear.


Stop and re-focus. It can be easy to get swept up in an emotion and end up reacting in ways that you don’t want. If you feel yourself start to spiral into an uncontrollable emotional reaction, take a conscious step back from what’s going on and focus on your physical senses. This can help “distract” your mind from feeling overwhelmed by keeping you in the present moment.

  • When you’re emotionally stimulated, you will probably experience a variety of physical effects, such as a faster heart rate, tightened or tense muscles, and rapid or shallow breathing.

  • Most people have developed emotional responses that are called “automatic reactivity.” This reactivity is a type of “habit” your brain has formed of reacting automatically to stimuli, such as emotional experiences, in a certain way. It can leave you feeling like you aren’t in control of those reactions. Fortunately, you can re-train your brain by focusing on the present moment.

  • Consciously examine your body’s reactions. Imagine you’re a doctor observing a patient. For example, if you’re suddenly feeling anxious, notice what that feels like in your body: “My heart is beating very fast. My palms feel sweaty. I feel nauseated.” Acknowledge and accept these feelings as they are, rather than judging them as "wrong" or trying to get rid of them.

  • Consciousness actually consists of many information paths that all tell us something simultaneously. Feeling overwhelmed emotionally can be caused by experiencing our emotional reactions as a jumble of feelings and sensory experiences that feel all tangled up. Slow down and focus on one element at a time, such as what you smell, what you touch, and what you see. This will help your brain learn to process these information paths more effectively, leaving you feeling less swamped by your emotions.






    Don't be a grouch about it though. I have tendancies of doing that, however, to combat

    the negative comments of others, or even my own self-talk. but it isn't the solution. it may make you feel more in control, but it doesn't last. it will tear down your support structure, and push people away, who could BE a help to

     you....rememebr...CONTROL...your emotions.

Let me finish with this....don't overestimate the power of continuing to strive for your goals. The answer may come when you least expect it...and it's fascinating, the stories you can tell about it afterwards, and that make times with friends wonderful. No movie book or poem or story isn't respendant with the ups and downs of it's protagonists. But when you are the hero of your own story, you can't see the end results yet...you are the one fighting!!!! But when you reach the end, it's the journey that will be worth recounting!



For 9 years, I have had a dream. To build a self Sustainable Medieval Village that would cater to the needs of the community in a way that would leave little foot print and would be benificial in the way communities used to be 700 years ago. Ancient skills that have atrophied in society that were so important to survival and success in life, have now been transferred into the bumbling hands of corporations and governments that have simply dropped the ball. And we are paying a very high price for letting them have that control. it's the comapny store mentality. Mining companies began that game many years ago, attracting men and women from the farms to a money based econmy, where the mining company ended up owning the workers becuae of debt. Do a google search on it.  Here is a song sung in the early 1900's that explains it well.



Sixteen Tons

Now, some people say a man’s made out of mud,
But a poor man’s made out of muscle and blood,
Muscle and blood, skin and bones,
A mind that’s weak and a back that’s strong.

You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go,
I owe my soul to the company store

Well, I was born one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine.
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mines.
I loaded sixteen tons of Number Nine coal,
And the straw-boss said, “Well, bless my soul.”

You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go,
I owe my soul to the company store

Well, I was born one mornin’, it was drizzlin’ rain.
Fightin’ and trouble is my middle name.
I was raised in the bottoms by a mama hound.
I’m mean as a dog, but I’m as gentle as a lamb.

You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go,
I owe my soul to the company store

WeIl, if you see me a-comin’ you better step aside.
A lotta men didn’t and a lotta men died.
I got a fist of iron, and a fist of steel.
If the right one don’t get you, then the left one will.

You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go,
I owe my soul to the company store


Danger & Debt



The song’s lyrics also aimed at the dangers and exploitation of the mining life — and the hard times in mining communities. And indeed, from the early 1900s through the 1940s, life in the mining communities all across the country was pretty grim. Mine workers were frequently killed in mine accidents and most who worked in the mines developed “black lung” disease from years of breathing dust. Although mine conditions improved following the unionization of mine workers in the 1930s and subsequent mine safety laws, even in the mid-1950s when “Sixteen Tons” was at the top of the charts, mine accidents and deplorable conditions in mining communities were still found throughout the coal fields.

     And as “Sixteen Tons” made plain in its lyrics, indebtedness to the company was also a problem in some coal communities, especially before labor reforms were adopted.  Coal miners often became indebted to the “company store,” also known as the general store in some locations.  With no competition, the company could keep prices high for everyday items, and employees — especially those with families — often needed to pay in credit with tokens or scrip.  A never-ending cycle of debt often resulted, meaning essentially that the workers were perpetually bound to the company. This is happening now, without anyone being aware of it. utility companies, buying food instead of growing it, people leaving the farm and living perpetually in the 'company store' mentality. A false sense of freedom. Here's a blog article from a few years ago explaining my own families dilemma many generations ago. 





The fact that we have moved and built and planned on four pieces of property in the last two years, may look foolish to some....but as my wife likes to remind me: it was training ground, and now we can look back with a kind of fondness for those times, sadness at the ones that missed out on a great opportunity, but gladness with the new friends we are making everyday! I can tell you this: Master your emotions, and never let them stop you from doing something EVERYDAY for your dream. Get up...like the fighter in the arena...read that poem every day if you can. Conquer your fear, and that will stimulate new growth...mental growth...and allow you the strength to fight through the negative! 


I wish you well, and will keep you posted on the success of our Ancient Arts Academy! It will be a reality! Thank God!

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