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End of Year Thoughts

2018 is gone, long live 2019, for the next 365 days that is.  I want to talk about several things which I have seen over 2018 and I want to bring up before 2019 comes and we (generally speaking) doom ourselves to repeat certain failures and not repeat successes. 

You should do this exercise which I do every single year's end to make sure I am not repeating my mistakes, learning from my failures, building upon my successes and continuing to reach my goals. 

Get yourself a decent journal or note book, like a moleskin, get yourself a decent pen, something that writes really well and not a one time use type of situation (consistency over time is key here), something you can reuse for a long time and can refill as needed.

Starting as soon as you can, preferably before 2019, sit down for at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time and write about three topics. First your failures/mistakes, either attempts or non-attempts at something, and what you did to not fail anymore, and what you plan on doing to not fail anymore at those things.  Second, write down your successes, what you did, how you did it, what you need to do in order to recreate those moments and what you are going to do to get more successes than failures.  Lastly, write down your goals for 2019, 2020, 2025 and 2040  We do at least 5 years ahead because we need to know what the big picture is, what is the goal over the mountain and down the stream.  What do you need to do to get there.  We cannot be chained to tomorrow or next week, not our next paycheck, we need to see the future and time travel as much as possible.  If we see the future we can make positive decisions accordingly.  Once you sit down and you do this, you may see that going through the thought process of this is really helpful and may work in your best interest.  I challenge you to sit down, for 30 minutes everyday.  Every. Single. Day. To write for at least 30 minutes about what you did during your day, what you did wrong, what you did right, what you should have done, what you could have done, what you missed, what you succeeded at.  If you don't have anything eventful to write about, write about concepts, topics of philosophy, anything that you were thinking about throughout your day.  This is a twist on Dr. Jordan Peterson's concepts on self-authoring, with a little bit more direction and a lot more repetition.  This is not a journal, or diary.  This is not for others to read so write it accordingly, it doesn't matter if you shred the page or burn it after you write it.  What matters is mental process you go through in order to logically express your thoughts.  There are no negatives to this form of self-reflection.  This is an excellent exercise to learn how to scribe your life and develop your thoughts.  Do it.

In 2019 learn to disregard those who follow an ideology which is counter to yours and only when those in your tribe take actions which are contrary to logic should you make an effort to figure out what is going on, why, and how you can help debug the problem as you see it.  One of the biggest issues which exists in the training community is the proliferation of social media spread dogma and a worshiping of false idols to the point they are emulated.  This is a serious moral and ethical problem which seems to be disregarded in favor of "likes" and social media celeb status.  This type of dogmatic approach to training fuels all sorts of failures and logical inconsistencies as these concepts have not been tested in the real world, but only in the vacuum of the square range (and that's only sometimes).  Whenever you see these failures share them with your tribe and make fun of them.  This serves several purposes, the biggest is to show those in your tribe what is unacceptable and ridiculed, this will cause those in your tribe who may be doing this to disregard it in favor of the logical route.  This is an important concept and you should do everything in your power to make sure your tribe benefits from others mistakes.  Do not correct that person unless it helps your tribe directly.  Sometimes you cannot help but to ridicule someone publicly, we all do that from time to time because of the seriousness of the weakness being produced as "content" via various platforms.  Here are a few examples of completely illogical concepts as I've written about a previous article - Training for Reality: Reloads and Situational Awareness

All of these guys are doing something incredibly incorrect and illogical, among other things.  The one thing they all lack is time with a real world experience vetted instructor who would have corrected them immediately upon seeing them do a two hand draw stroke derived from the weak position of surrender.  Share these videos with your tribe, ridicule them for your illogical and weak concepts, get stronger as a tribe because your responsibility is to your tribe and yourself, no one else.

Unfortunately the article I wrote last year has been confirmed repeatedly in 2018, in Do not be a Pedestrian, I wrote about taking responsibility for yourself, your family, your community and your tribe.  I wrote that article in the end of 2017, yet we saw just how weak the general public can be and what happens when "it's someone else's problem" when it comes to protecting your children, or your community in the Parkland shooting, and that is just one example of many.  The chance of you being the most highly trained person in the room is very high if you regularly read this site and train accordingly.  That means you have a responsibility which you have taken serious as a responsible armed citizen, act accordingly and do not go about your business as if violence is someone else's problem.  The moment you realized it is your responsibility, you started training and that means you will ultimately be completely responsible for your ignorance regardless of outcome or situation.  Once the switch is flipped; tag, you're it, whether you like it or not.

I wrote an article in the beginning of 2018 about one serious issue in the 2A industry and that is the resurgence of the "SME".  Something which I have been vetting with the group of guys I train with is the concept of an SME, what it is, how it applies and what it really means to those who do real world "work" and the consensus has become pretty clear.  If someone refers to themselves as an "SME" is it because they want to sell you something.  It is a marketing term, and that is all there is to it.  Anyone can call themselves an SME, yet real instructors, experts or professionals will not call themselves that.  A professional is just that, someone who conducts themselves at the highest level possible in the real world because there are real world consequences to their actions.  An expert is a desk jockey who is the equivalent to an intellectual when it comes to the firearms industry, which is not a bad thing by the way, we need the guy who knows the processes of how to develop the concepts, but their expertise ends where their desk begins.  An instructor, in most cases as seen in the photo above, has turned into someone who just labeled themselves that to make money, marketing purposes or as a pure ego stroke-fest.  Stay as far away from these people as possible.  Those who make IG videos of themselves doing pointless drills or looking cool in full kit, NODs, a decked out rifle in the middle of the day on a square range, are the guys you should be disregarding, they have nothing to provide you other than weekend warrior camp.  They lack experience and mindset as it applies to reality.

Lastly, and most important, stop talking about it and do it.  "That guy sucks!" yeah? Well show the people are you are telling that to, you are better.  Walk the walk.  Own your mistakes, own your actions, all of them.  If you have not done so read Extreme Ownership and own your actions.  Beyond that own the actions of those you are responsible for.  If someone in your tribe is having a hard time, you should have been doing something to help, even if just as small of a gesture as to be a good ear to listen to them and their issues, providing whatever info you possibly can.  You have to do rather than to talk, you have train rather than to complain or think about it.  If you have ever said "well I would love to learn...." something which you do not currently know right now, what are you waiting for?  Do it. The only person who is stopping you, is you.  Develop your skill sets and do not hesitate to be a student starting from the bottom all over again.  Never stop training, never stop developing yourself.