Independence Day: Living Up to the Name

On this day 238 years ago, we declared our independence from the kingdom of Great Britain. There was a time when the states were recognized as individuals, and people would say “The United States are..”. Now we stand 50 in number and exist in a state of unity, as people now proclaim, “The United States […]

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Why I Train Jiu Jitsu

In the past few days I have been asked numerous times why I train Jiu Jitsu. My inquirers expect answers involving arm bars and berimbolos. In truth, these are the farthest from reasons why I practice this beautiful art. I train because it makes every area of my life better, and it makes me better […]

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Forge Meaning, Build Identity, & Allowing Yourself to Feel

Note: This post was influenced by the wonderful TED Talk by Andrew Solomon Imagine that you have the power to take yourself to an experience that you’ve had before. Where would you go? Your first kiss? Maybe the time you got your first acceptance letter to college? Or, how about the time you jumped out […]

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On the Polarity of Things

In life we too often focus on the foreground, and forget the background. We view things in space to be more real than the space itself. We forget that things can only be things when there is something which is not a thing, the space. Conversely, space can only be space when there is something […]

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Impermanence: Building Castles out of Sand

Impermanence is a beautiful thing. Actually, more accurately said, Impermanence is that which makes every thing beautiful. All of the joys of the human experience owe their intensity to the ever-receding state of existence. Everything we love, we love all the more when we realize that both it and ourselves will not be here for […]

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Humanity & Sport: The Common Ground of Jiu Jitsu

I have been blessed to be a member of an incredible team at RABJJ for the past six years. Jiu Jitsu has given me more in terms of self-worth and relationships than I had ever hoped. My only response now is to try to pay these benefits forward to my students and teammates. Jiu Jitsu […]

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Why you should define your vision statement today

On the importance of a Vision Statement: A few weeks ago I sat down with the hopes of clearly articulating my message. How could others understand my message if I could not concisely describe it for myself? Human beings most often fall short in areas that they find themselves unable to clearly specify their feelings […]

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Jesus was not a carpenter forever. Will you be?

While on the path of personal development one inevitably comes to the point where living for one’s self just seems too menial. This can happen at any age, but at a certain point you see that constantly focusing on YOUR concerns, trying to focus on YOUR problems becomes an insult to your existence. It becomes […]

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Your Life is a Blank Canvas. What Will You Paint?

Life is a blank canvas. In a blind stroke of luck, one evening (or day, I don’t know what kind of sex your parents had), your parents met up and decided to give you the empty picture frame that is your life. Your obligation, until the day you die, is to fill that picture frame […]

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The ‘Haves’ and ‘Have Nots’: How to find purpose in your life

Half a decade ago I graduated college. Upon being thrown into the real world, my friends and I began to start our careers. Five years later, we are officially “adults”. There has grown a clear distinction between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. But this is not a distinction of money. This is a distinction […]

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New Year, New Resolution, Old Habits: How to see real change in your life this year

“This is going to be the best damn year of my life. This is the year I’m going to… “Lose 15 pounds.” “Get a new job.” “Learn a new language.” “Be more compassionate to those in need.” Sound familiar? If you are anything like most people – including myself – the buzz of these resolutions […]

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Ten Important Life Lessons from Martial Arts

I have been incredibly fortunate to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the best in the world for the last half decade. The past five years or so have been the most enjoyable and growth filled of my life. I have met great friends, brilliant teachers and have been afforded the opportunity to be part of […]

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Success is Not a Movie Montage

(See this quote illustrated from Zen Pencils) Perhaps not everyone believes that movies mimic real life, but when I think about some of the most motivational videos I’ve seen, they include some sort of three-minute Hollywood montage where the underdog trains like hell for the upcoming battle of wills. Some that come to mind are […]

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The Thinking Mind

Thinking, like any of our inherently given abilities, is a skill. And this skill serves a very specific purpose. But we have misunderstood the terms of using such a tool, and we constantly try to use it for projects that require a different one. Thinking, you see, is like a hammer. And when nails are […]

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The Fail-Proof Path to Happiness: Invest in the Process

Growing up, I was addicted to outcomes. As a hockey player I can remember my happiness in life being dependent on the amount of goals I scored and the wins or losses my team had on the weekends. If I scored a goal and we won, I was flying high, but if I went goalless […]

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