Last week

This is the book I am following.

Another good read.

I like this one also.

Working on this book currently.

Disclaimer: I’m not your Supervisor. These are my opinions after reading through these books a few times.


Jan 15

“Tranquility can’t be grasped except by those who have reached an unwavering and firm power of judgment—the rest constantly fall and rise in their decisions, wavering in a state of alternately rejecting and accepting things. What is the cause of this back and forth? It’s because nothing is clear and they rely on the most uncertain guide—common opinion.”

I try to stay rational in my decisions and because of this, I don’t vacillate. I figured out really early in my Marine Corps career, the worst kind of leader was an indecisive one. I’ve had a mantra “make a decision and stick to it”.  If you are making decisions not based on principles and instead based on what you think will make people happy, you will be the worst kind of leader.


Jan 16

“So in the majority of other things, we address circumstances not in accordance with the right assumptions, but mostly by following wretched habit. Since all that I’ve said is the case, the person in training must seek to rise above, so as to stop seeking out pleasure and steering away from pain; to stop clinging to living and abhorring death; and in the case of property and money, to stop valuing receiving over giving.”

It is hard to change habits. During our work from home phase last year I got in the habit of staying up too late and waking up just in time to log in. I wasn’t running or working out. Reality hit one day when my jeans barely fit around my waist. It took a while, but I got in the habit of going to bed at 10pm and waking at 5am to either run or go to the gym. In that way I was no longer seeking the pleasure of staying up too late and avoiding the pain of exercise. I never had been clinging to life, after a couple close calls in Iraq, I figure I’m on bonus time. It’s important that my habits are there for a reason, not just because they’re my habits. It’s hard to not place value on receiving money, that is why I go to work. Try to remind myself it’s not the most important thing.


Jan 17

“I am your teacher and you are learning in my school. My aim is to bring you to completion, unhindered, free from compulsive behavior, unrestrained, without shame, free, flourishing, and happy, looking to God in things great and small—your aim is to learn and diligently practice all these things. Why then don’t you complete the work, if you have the right aim and I have both the right aim and right preparation? What is missing? . . . The work is quite feasible, and is the only thing in our power. . . . Let go of the past. We must only begin. Believe me and you will see.”

It is in my power how I react to things. I have done enough reading and learning to have a solid base to filter these reactions. Why do I still follow the wrong impulses? Make the decision to move forward and go.

Jan 18

“Pass through this brief patch of time in harmony with nature, and come to your final resting place gracefully, just as a ripened olive might drop, praising the earth that nourished it and grateful to the tree that gave it growth.”

Understand death is a part of life. Enjoy your time and use it well, so that when you die, you can look back and know it was not a wasted life. I struggle with regrets for things I didn’t do and some things I did do. I am working to handle them in the present and not let them cloud the future.


Jan 19

“A podium and a prison is each a place, one high and the other low, but in either place your freedom of choice can be maintained if you so wish.”

I saw a documentary on a guy who was framed by his ex wife for murder and spent 15 years in prison before he was exonerated. He spent his time in there mentoring and tutoring other inmates. I wish I could remember his name or more about the case, but the main thing that stuck with me was his attitude. He was interviewed while still in prison and his case was going through the courts. He basically said while he hopes to be released, it didn’t really matter because he was helping others while he was inside and because of that he was never really in jail.


Jan 20

“Your principles can’t be extinguished unless you snuff out the thoughts that feed them, for it’s continually in your power to reignite new ones. . . . It’s possible to start living again! See things anew as you once did—that is how to restart life!”

I had a bad week dealing with being couch bound the second week I was out of the hospital. The first week I was so happy to be out, the couch didn’t bother me. I had to mentally refocus on what I can control and how to deal with the situation I could not control. Always remember, if you’re struggling, it’s in your power to refocus and start again.


Jan 21

“Ask yourself the following first thing in the morning:
What am I lacking in attaining freedom from passion?
What for tranquility?
What am I? A mere body, estate-holder, or reputation? None of these things.
What, then? A rational being.
What then is demanded of me? Meditate on your actions.
How did I steer away from serenity?
What did I do that was unfriendly, unsocial, or uncaring?
What did I fail to do in all these things?”

I try to ask these questions daily as I get ready to sleep. Usually it’s the same answer: anger. I am mostly a happy guy, but anger at the world, my current medical situation, or even at a tool I can’t find or a part that won’t fit through the hole I took it out of. I used to make fun of my brother when we were  kids trying to make model cars because he would SNAP and smash it or push too hard and break it. As I’ve gotten older, those tendencies have manifested themselves in me. I don’t like it and am trying to keep control of my actions and temperament.

Here’s a band most people never heard of unless they’re from Georgia.

I’m not from Georgia, but I had a roommate who was.