personal growth

The Significance of Storytelling

Storytelling remains the backbone of our education. We grow up begging for bedtime stories; as adolescents, we yearn for television and movies; and, in adulthood, many of us turn to books. Joseph Campbell, world-renowned mythologist and author, discussed at length the importance of myth. He had a wide understanding of myths across geography and time, […]

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On Jiu Jitsu and Effort

Jiu Jitsu is a skill. All skills are fostered through intelligent repetition. There is no substitute for mat time. The most efficient way to get better at Jiu Jitsu is to do Jiu Jitsu. With the combination of guidance and will, effort is the deciding factor in a student’s progress. “We tell ourselves that skill […]

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Modern Stoicism

All undesirable circumstances afford us the opportunity to practice virtue. It is the moments in life we least enjoy which are our greatest assets. Stoicism is a school of philosophy founded by Zeno in the 3rd Century B.C. Stoicism teaches that virtue is the sole requirement for happiness, and through the use of logic and […]

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The 10 Books Which Most Shaped My Philosophy

Since publishing “On the Importance of Reading”, I have received many inquiries for book recommendations. Below I have listed the most impactful books I have read (in no particular order), but this advice comes with one great caveat. These books worked for me. That does not mean they will work for you. Remember the teachings […]

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Five Ways Stephen King Can Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

This week I read On Writing by Stephen King. The premier instruction manual for the aspiring writer, King shares his thoughts on what constitutes good writing. Pithy and illuminating, King teaches the fundamentals of mastery which hold true for Jiu Jitsu. The following is derived from the first section of the book titled, “C.V.” (Curriculum […]

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The Gift of Fear

The truth of adulthood is that few people care whether or not you pursue your dreams. Even worse, we rarely share these dreams with others. This leads to a complete lack of external accountability in matters we deem most noteworthy. Luckily, we come hard-wired with a tool to combat this: Fear. As much as the […]

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The Implicit Impetus of Jiu Jitsu

In the martial arts community there exists a tacit truth which goes unspoken because it is so socially repulsive. Way, way down, deep in our core, we enjoy the feeling of being able to physically subdue another human. Academies across the globe consist of members from all walks of life with equally different goals. Martial […]

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The Ben Franklin Effect: An Unexpected Way to Build Rapport

On rare occurrences, life moves in such harmony where it provides you with an experience that prompts you to question why something happened, and then subsequently provides you with the answer the next day. A few days ago, I was lucky enough to experience this phenomenon.

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The Real Reason to Earn a Black Belt

I have been given the rare opportunity to teach Jiu Jitsu for a living. This is a privilege that I wake up everyday grateful for, and a responsibility that I hold dearly. I understand how rare it is to be employed through a labor you genuinely love, and one which can be used as a […]

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We Are All Artists

Many, many generations ago, when man existed as wanderers across the land, and hunted in packs, societal acceptance was an absolute prerequisite to survival. Our very life depended on the acceptance of the group, and so we acted accordingly to ensure that we would remain part of that group, and be granted the benefits of […]

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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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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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The Battle of Inflation: Be Better Tomorrow Than You Were Today

Do you remember having conversations with parents or grandparents about how cheap things used to be? Did you marvel at gas costing 25¢? This is due to a phenomenon known as inflation. At this point, you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about the inflation rate or any other economic concepts on a blog that’s supposed […]

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The Beginner’s Mindset: From Toddlers to Tchaikovsky

One of the major goals I have for myself in this life is, no matter what, to continue to grow and develop myself. I strive for this for two reasons. First, I truly believe that there is no neutral ground in life. Every day, you have a choice; growth or atrophy, and if I have […]

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