Posts Tagged ‘Mentors’

2011 is upon us and showing no sign of letting up whatsoever from the momentum of the year past. After a much needed week and a half off with the family over the holiday season (after an intense couple month preparation period and successful launch of my new training product, the Clubbell Mass Evolution), I came back to work. When I come back from having been off, it really is because I was off. I go completely offline. The computer shuts down, the phone gets turned off and I unplug. And having returned, the inbox is spilling over, there are a few loose ends to finish tying off from 2010 so I can really focus on the new year before me AND all the action required for everything that goes along with it. I imagine that is the same for many of us.

But I feel it is of the utmost importance to take a moment and reflect when reaching significant turning points, to fully draw what one can from the experience. And I just came across a very important reason for doing so.

Just before going offline, I was invited to be profiled for an article. I of course accepted, not knowing what the article was or which magazine it might be for. The request was coming from my Coach and Teammate, Scott Sonnon, and thus was fine with wherever it ws getting posted. I didn’t have much time to get into it, I had to answer the interview questions because I was going offline. The questions were very intelligent and I liked what was being asked. So I submitted and was done.

I am now back, just a couple days, and while attending to the final bits of last year and all the new bits of revving up for what is looking to be an even more incredible year than last, it’s been a little all over the place and from the outside could seem somewhat chaotic (heck, from the inside it looks chaotic ;)). Along with that, comes still being in the dark about some stuff. Then today, I see a few messages that end off with a “And congratulations on being chosen #1 trainer of the year!” Huh? Pardon? I had no idea what was being referred to. At first I almost thought it was just a really nice gesture by the individual. But I decided to do a little digging. And what do you know; I had been entered alongside 9 other trainers by RMAX International into a poll that would be voted on by the CST community for the Most Aspiring Trainer of the Year award. And as it turns out, I won.

And this is why it is so important to take a moment to take stock. Because the potential for missing this was there. And what I would have missed out on was, not finding out that I’d won, but having missed the opportunity to honour those in whose company I have been placed.

There is no denying that I stand upon broad wide shoulders, in whatever progress I have made in my growth and development, as a member of this CST community. I have always believed that no one truly does it on their own and that we learn, even if it be equivalent to that of a grain of sand and from a seemingly very negative interaction, something from everyone we come into contact with. And the fellow trainers on this list are no exception. This is what I have come to very much respect about the CST community. The caliber of individuals that it attracts. Not only does it attract these incredibly gifted, talented and innovative powerhouses, but those same trainers pour so much back into the community they’ve become a part of. Each of them to a man or woman, are imbued with a sense of service, for the betterment and progress of those around them.

My whole life has been motivated, inspired and driven by a strong sense of service to my fellow man, that we may collectively grow into the unquestionable capacity we have just waiting to be unlocked and tapped into. And to be surrounded and supported by a team of people that do the same is a blessing, gift and absolute honour.

This would be a very tough vote, as each of you brings something so unique in your expression and promotion of CST/TACFIT, that it’s difficult to differentiate the impact you have each had as individuals. Because it is precisely what you bring, as an integral piece of the whole, fulfilling a capacity that only you can bring to the table in the way that you all do, that plays such an important role in the effectiveness and impact we all have as a team on those around us. It’s no wonder it’s felt like an explosion of talent and growth amongst the CST trainers this year!

I know for myself, anything I have been able offer in service to those around me and in continuing to expand CST’s ever widening reach, ever deepening influence, it has been in large part due to the energy, selflessness, inspiration, support and encouragement of you all. I am honoured to be a part of this Team. To be a part of this collective that I truly believe will continue to be a significant part of trailblazing, shaping and facilitating growth for our family’s, community’s and our society at large.

Thank you Coach Sonnon for my inclusion amongst this amazing group of incredible individuals, in spotlighting the growth that is now going to continue blowing wide open by leaps and bounds.

Thank you to all, for your vote of confidence in my continued participation with this community and endeavour.

Boy….we thought 2010 was a huge year…..lookout 2011! ūüėÄ

Dare to Evolve,


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Unique journey’s, Interconnectivity. The climb continues….

Dare to Evolve,

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Recently I tested for my Black Belt. Well……my imaginary Black Belt.

After 5 years of studying Tae Kwon Do from two martial artists I truly respect and who to this day, I consider among two of my most significant mentors during my teenage years, I was invited (encouraged;) to test for my black belt. In our school, one did not request to test for black belt. Neither was there a schedule upon which you knew, after this many hours or this much work, you could test. You tested when they essentially felt you had already earned it. You were just required to show it formally, the final “pressure of the test” an acceptance of the honour and sealing the next step being taken.

Although my formal martial arts training didn’t start until I was 15 yrs old, like many of us I ¬†imagine, my martial arts training began when I was young. It began with watching the Karate Kid and an assortment of other martial arts films. Hahaha. That’s okay. Let it out. On the surface it may seem kind of silly. But know that for many who read this, there is truth in it. Included were various medieval films or books, wherein knights and warriors upheld a code (whether established or personal) to which they dedicated their lives. With my upbringing and the blessing of an amazing family, a very strong spiritual foundation was also being laid.

So the principles traditionally upheld by martial arts were developing within. And lucky for me, they did not stay in the realm of theoretical. I was put to the test every single day. Whether it was in facing the extreme environment I grew up in or fighting for my life. Yes, “fighting for my life” might sound a little excessive. But on many an occasion it was the truth. Ego was squelched. Character was forged. Focus and drive ignited. And tempering it all into a productive maelstrom so it didn’t tear me apart. So when I finally came to Tae Kwon Do, I met with a physical expression of the internal process I’d already been undergoing for years.

The totality of what martial arts was “traditionally” used to develop, holds immense value for me. It means alot. More so than the style of the art practiced or the rank held within it.

As anyone would be, just getting the vote of confidence from those I admired and trusted, was uplifting and made me excited at the idea of testing for my black belt. In the end however, I didn’t test. There was another opportunity I was being invited to take part in, which when it came down to it, was also very important to me. And it wasn’t necessarily going to come along again. Whereas I knew I was a martial artist for life. The black belt will come. Well the next chance I had to test came around, simultaneously following in it’s shadow, a similar endeavour to the previous one that made for a very difficult decision. But just as before, this was in service to others and my black belt…..well, my black belt was for me. Once again, no test.

To this day I never did test for it. Do I regret it? Not one bit. I went with my gut and it was right on the money. Interestingly enough, I came to a sudden realization about a year ago. ¬†That in part, though unconscious at the time, was the fact that I didn’t want to test for my black belt. Though others felt I had, I did not feel I earned it. For me, the black belt is a symbol of the time, sweat equity and commitment to mastery put in. And I had always felt like I wanted to put more time in, that I could do so much more and go so much further in my practice then I did. But I was involved in so many other activities, that the time just didn’t permit. And I hadn’t made it a priority. But finally, I got my chance to follow through in the way I’d always wanted to.

I’ve been training in Circular Strength Training (CST) for the last 2.5 years. I’ve been a trainer of CST for the last 1.5 years. When I came colliding into it, like TKD, I found a physical practice that complimented my internal process. Only this time, I knew what I wanted to put into it. I have trained myself in CST every…single….day, for the last 2.5 years. I have worked very hard to continue my mastery ¬†of this system. With the realization last year that I felt I hadn’t earned my black belt test, also came the understanding that my CST practice was in fact my martial art. Everything I was pouring into it (and what I am continuing to gain from it) mirrored what martial arts is to me and has to offer us in our growth. And with that, acknowledging that, should my certification as a CST Head Coach with RMAX International eventually come to fruition, it would represent, for me, my black belt test.

I did not force my development through the Coaching stream. I pursued it further as I felt moved to do so, allowing my internal gauge of whether I’d put enough in, in my eyes, to at least attempt certification. After that it was up to my coaches. Frankly, I was detached from the result, as it wasn’t the title that was important. A few weeks ago, I came to my “black belt” test. A rigorous 5 day examination, for my attempt at CST Head Coach and TACFIT Team Leader certifications. My goal was to put my best foot forward, regardless of the end result. It wasn’t about earning my certifications. It was about earning the opportunity to test and that I did so to the very best of my current abilities. I felt I followed through on my end, and that made it a success. It was one of the most fulfilling weekends of my life.

And the best part about all this? It wasn’t just for me this time. Well it was for me, but it included doing it for all those I have trained, train and have yet to train. My further mastery of this system will continue to improve what I can offer others in their path to bettering their lives.

This humble attempt, for whatever it was worth, is dedicated to my TKD instructors Vlado Brisjc and Dana Rasiah, who saw in me perhaps more than I saw in myself. This is my following through and not leaving in vain, an invitation to go beyond. Thank you.

It is dedicated to my current coaches, Scott Sonnon, Ryan Murdock, Ryan Hurst, Brandon Jones, Joe Wilson and Jarlo Ilano, who have, each in there own unique way as dictated by their gifts, been instrumental in guiding me along, giving me the nudges that helped me stay on the path to exponential progress and growth, both personally and vocationally. Thank you.

Finally, it is dedicated to my Team. Fellow CST Head Coach Candidates John Wolf and Jeffery  Larson. To our fellow Coaches and Instructors, all going the distance with a common vision of bringing something to the world that goes beyond us as individuals. It gets there through us and what we each uniquely have to offer. But we do so together. Keep crushing it!

And yes, I earned my Black Belt…..well, my imaginary Black Belt. ūüėČ

Dare to Evolve,

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OprahWhether on Prime-time, a major hitter in your company or the top requested server at your local restaurant, there are superstars everywhere.¬† And they all grab our attention, because they are examples of those who have succeeded in their given vocation.¬† Along with the admiration (and envy),¬† there is often the notion that they arrived at this place on their own somehow, that they are self-made success’s.¬† But does a self-made superstar truly exist?

In western society especially, there is the belief that one CAN rise up from nothing, that one CAN overcome insurmountable odds to make loads of money, gain celebrity, have all the comforts one would desire, leave behind a legacy for the next generation and so on. And because sometimes breaking away from the so-called “obstacles” in our lives to get there means breaking away from the negative chatter or influences of those around us, there is sown this idea of gaining that success in spite of people, not because of them.

einsteinBut no one truly becomes successful without the help of others. Along the way we meet people who present a different perspective from our own, who share life lessons that unlock closed doors within us which suddenly propel us forward by leaps and bounds, who inspire us, who challenge us, who give us tools without which we would not have made the necessary steps to the next “stage”. They are a part of our success.

The slippery slope comes in when we have attained that certain level of success, when all the admiration and praise starts pouring in. It feels so good, it becomes difficult to share it with others. We get scared that if people find out that a big part of our success comes from someone else, that they’ll stop sending it our way. Conversely, those of us doling out the kudos want to believe that those who succeeded did it on their own, perhaps because we feel we don’t have anyone assisting us to do the same or we don’t feel we have the qualities or capacity to get there, excusing us from making the effort. And thus perpetuates the idea of the self-made superstar.

standing on shouldersFunny thing is, the successful people who have staying power, the authentic individuals with a truly positive influence on the lives of others, acknowledge their mentors, their coaches, those upon who’s shoulders they stand.

So if it’s part of the formula, why not start the habit of acknowledging, of thanking, our mentors and coaches who have been a part of helping us get to where we are today, in achieving our success’s, no matter how big or small we may perceive them to be. It may not be easy. I actually have a difficult time with this one, because I’ve had one too many experiences where there are those who too eagerly TAKE credit for being the source of any success’s I may have achieved along the way. But by allowing that to be an obstacle to my acknowledging those who HAVE been a truly influencing force, I limit myself. I hold myself back and stop myself short.

With the level of interconnectedness that today’s technology provides us and extent to which we can communicate and share, the opportunity to connect with people that prove to become mentors or coaches, has expanded in scope exponentially. Thus they are not limited to those we know or come into contact with personally.

It’s not the list in it’s entirety, but I wish to acknowledge those who are a powerful, positive and influencing force in my growth and success at this time (some of whom I know personally and some I don’t):

Scott Sonnon
Laird Hamilton
Jarlo Ilano
Seth Godin
Ryan Murdock

Dare To Evolve,

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