Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Goal Setting is for Losers!



Here I sit at one of my favorite coffee houses and I am already realizing in order to obtain my goals things are going to have to change!
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As someone once said...
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"You can't get there from here..."

I started blogging in 2008 and have no plans on stopping, however it's time to cut back on the posts slightly to make room for new things.
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Even the thought of changing or *gasp* eliminating my 2013 commitment to write four blog posts per month is already proving more difficult to shed mentally than I expected.
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Have you ever had that in areas of your life?!
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Somewhere down inside of me I feel as if I am giving up. That since I made the commitment I need to continue to uphold it no matter what! And if I don't continue to do so, I failed in some way or I become some sort of loser somehow.
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EVEN IF IT'S TIME TO CHANGE!!
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EVEN IF THOSE OLD EXPECTATIONS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY FOR GROWTH!!
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Even if it's TIME TO MOVE ON!!
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Hogwash I say!
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We have to continue to evaluate and re-assess our situation in order to align our goals, intentions and actions to where we are going.
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This doesn't mean giving up too soon!
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Remember everything has a process and takes time. You have to give the proper amount of time and attention necessary for doing what you set out to do, but still be flexible and open for change!
I remind myself that my blog wasn't (and isn't) a failure of any sort! As a matter of fact it is (and I hope will continue to be) a complete success!
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We've had some months with over 125,000 page views!! Which is AWESOME!
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Regardless... It's time to move on...
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When the winds of change are blowing strong, pull up anchor and set your sails!
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So, what are you holding on to that was once necessary, but now you do it more out of habit or worse yet, obligation? Something that doesn't fit anymore, or actually holding you back from future success? The old paradigm may not be fit any more. If it feels as if its time to start something different and the 'old' commitment is no longer fueling forward progress in the direction you'e aiming for... time to re-calibrate, chart a new course and boldly move forward!
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I see this a lot when helping people deal with conflict. Everyone has habits on how they deal with conflict. Some good, some bad. Remember to keep assessing your habits to make sure they are serving you and the situation at hand.
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Do what is necessary vs. what your habit is. This is DIFFICULT, because when it comes to conflict, we have developed habits on how we deal with our own emotions, how we deal with people and how we deal w/certain (uncomfortable) situations.
When we are under stress and emotions kick in it's easy to revert to our habits to try to get our way or get back to our comfort zone.
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I talk a lot about this in the PeaceWalker Conflict Communications Course, which is available on the NEW PeaceWalker Membership Site (Accepting Members SOON!). Where I tell you how to see your habits so you can determine whether or not they are serving you at the time.
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Last thing: Remember we have our Krav Maga 2.25 Active Shooter Preparedness Workshop coming up the second week in October.
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You protectors out there won't want to miss this one!
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Hurry though, it's filling fast!
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Click here for info and to register!
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You got this!

~Craig

Monday, September 25, 2017

Can't Hide Crazy (Part 1)



Yep, I've said it many times, "You Can't Hide Crazy." Although there are a number of ways I can go into how that principle applies to life, today I wanted to talk about how "we can't hide" our own crazy. Teaching leadership, conflict management and of course defensive tactics I often say that if you are a mess on the inside, it's hard to keep it together on the outside.When thinking about emotions and attitude you can either let the situation, person or emotion control you or you can decide to keep control of yourself. If you cannot control your own emotions, people can take advantage of this, circumstances can get out of your control and you will not be able to control anything else in your life. 

We all feel emotions, it’s natural, it’s normal, it’s good and it’s healthy as long as those emotions are not a detriment to you making decisions and you living your life.  Let’s face it, feeling intimidated, guilt, stress, fear, panic, loneliness, anger, worry, etc are natural emotions. However, if you let those emotions overwhelm you too much you will not always make the best decision. 

How do you prevent yourself from being burned out? 

Take a few minutes and write down as many things as you can think of that helps you to relieve stress and give you a more balanced perspective.

How do you decompress? Is it a cup of coffee in the morning, reading the paper, is it getting a nice sleep, time with your family, a yearly vacation, yoga, what is it? How do you re-focus?   

Here are some of the things that I've come up with that often helps maintain a foundational grounding:

1)    Getting a good night sleep and ample rest is essential.  Regular exercise is also very effective in helping you to maintain this idea of foundational grounding. 
2)   Good Fuel for your body! Eating a balanced diet, not too much sugar, not too much caffeine, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, eating good, lean, low fat meals is helpful. 
3)    Having quiet time, meditation, service to others is another very important aspect of this idea of foundational grounding. 
4)     Connecting yourself with something larger than you is huge in being grounded.
5)    Surrounding yourself with positive people, people that will help to inspire you, not people that will bring you down. 
6)    Reading inspirational stories, watching inspiring movies and this type of thing will also help to ground you and pull you through tough times.
7)     Continual learning.
8)    Closure, take care of your regrets, apologize to your mom for yelling at her last week at the family reunion, take that employee into your office and tell him what you think, ask him for forgiveness if you need to if you do a bad.  Take care of your regrets, have closure before it’s too late. 

9)   Surround yourself with good, supportive, cool people! 
10)  Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!!  Learn to breath, relax and let go! Thank

These things will help you to maintain a much better sense of balance and grounding in your life. The better balanced and grounded that you are, the less likely you are to become overly emotional during a stressful situation.  When some person experiences road rage because you took his parking spot, do you really honestly think that he’s upset because you parked in that space?  Is it just about that, or is it something, maybe many things throughout his life that led up to him being so angry about that one incident?  So really think about these foundational things in your life that can help you maintain your balance.  Greek philosopher Socrates said, “know thyself.”  This is a very powerful concept to embrace.   

Keep going!

~Craig

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11 Tribute & Training (Re-Post)



The New Jersey beach was silent as I warmed up with the the Camden County police officers in preparation for Lt. Col. (Ret) Joe “Marine’s” infamous partner combat conditioning course. The day was September, 11th  2015, the anniversary of a dark day. A day that most professional protectors are especially respectful of. A day that we hope is never repeated.
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I can think of many good ways to commemorate 9/11: Showing respect for those fallen; extending condolences to loved ones of the victims; giving thanks to the protectors who are now on duty and of course, training to be a better protector. And that is exactly what we were doing this past Friday, September 11th 2015, in the morning beach sand of a small New Jersey town not too far from where the Towers stood in New York City.  
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When we think of what happened and what we can do to prevent something like that from happening again, I am reminded of our diversity, our strength and our resilience. We are ALL protectors and each of us contributes in our own way. Some of us are professional protectors, be it firemen, police officers, military personnel, medics, nurses, etc. others protect in different ways, maybe financial, maybe helping with the clean up or the rebuild. In the moment of crisis many civilian citizens become the warriors and protectors of others who were hurt, frightened, or somehow incapable of protecting themselves.
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Out on that Jersey beach early Friday morning working side by side with those officers my mind was focused on my task at hand as Joe Marine put us through the paces. The bigger picture was that we were coming together as ethical warriors. Sharpening our skills to become better protectors to hopefully prevent another 9/11 from happening and when something does happen again we trust that through our training we are more equipped to deal with whatever we are up against.
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After we were finished making sugar cookies out of ourselves my friend and colleague Artie Mark shared his first hand experience of the 9/11 terrorist attack. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but Artie is the real deal, a true protector and hero. He is one of the humblest, coolest guys that I know. He looks like an average Joe. He doesn’t boast or act like some arrogant ‘delta bravo.’ If you didn't know him you wouldn't suspect that he spent over 20 years on some of the toughest assignments in New York, including a special crime unit that put him in the most dangerous neighborhoods in NYC. His job in those days was to seize illegal guns and drugs to of course protect people from the violence that was out of control at that time. I am honored to work with Artie and call him a friend.
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9/11/2001 began as a normal day. Artie was on his way to a court hearing when a plane hit the first tower. He was only blocks away when he got the call and rushed to the scene. Still believing that the incident was some accident Artie saw the second plane fly right over his head striking the second tower. It wasn’t until he heard about a plane hitting the pentagon that the realization came over him that we were under attack.
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Artie made four trips into the building helping people to safety. On his fourth trip Artie was helping an elderly woman leave the building, when he ran into an old schoolmate who he hadn’t seen in years. Now a NYPD officer as well, the two quickly reconnected. After Artie helped the lady, his old friend asked him to help him tape off the parameter around the first tower. An act that actually saved his life!
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While Artie scrambled to tape off the first building a bike courier (like the character Kevin Bacon played in Quicksilver or Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 2012’s Premium Rush) sped past the barricade. Artie yelled for him to stop, but in true New York fashion the courier ignored the cry. It was a mistake that cost the courier his life. The bike messenger got no more than thirty feet from Artie when a giant sheet of plate glass fell from the burning building cutting him in half, right before Arties eyes. 
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“It was just like out of a movie,” Artie said as he shared the experience. 
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A moment later the entire tower collapsed, causing Artie and anyone in the area to run for their lives for a moment, before returning to assisting others. 
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Artie said that if he hadn’t stopped to help tape off the first tower he would have certainly died as the building collapsed with him in it. 

“It was like the world was coming to an end.” Artie shared with me and the rest of the RGI team. 
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He, the other officers and emergency rescue personnel worked frantically to save as many lives as possible. Artie remembers the legs of his pants being soaked with the blood of the bodies that were exploding all around him from the people jumping out of the buildings. It was like the scene of a movie. Sublime. 
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A couple days before this beach training Artie picked me up from the airport. We drove through downtown Manhattan and he showed me exactly where he was standing when he saw the tower collapsed. 
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After the attack, Artie pulled security and search and rescue efforts on Ground Zero. 16/6/6: For sixteen hour days, six days a week for six months Artie and other NYPD/NYFD protected, searched and recovered the remains of the victims of the attack. In total, the attacks claimed the lives of 2,977 le and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage; $3 Trillion in total costs. It was the deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed respectively.
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After Artie finished with his story and we took a moment of silence to show reverence and respect, he went on to say that he knows many of his fellow protectors (and many citizens as well) who suffer from PTSD from the incident, however he never did. He believes that it is his training regarding being an ethical warrior that shielded him from the psychological effects of the experience. 
This is why we train.
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Did I mention how much of an honor it is to know, work with and be able to call Artie my friend? I love you brother! Thanks for sharing some of your path with me! I'm glad you are here. My life and the lives of so many others are not only safer because you are here, we are truly happier whenever you come around. We know that anyone in need has a friend in your presence. How can we tell? You communicate it with everything you do, even when you don't say a word, we can even see it in your eyes alone.
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All the best & Keep Going!
~Craig

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

10 Laws of Life



I was cleaning out an old filing cabinet the other day and I came across this tattered piece of paper. At the top of the copy it said "sales success" in some 90's logo. The crooked, distorted text appeared to be a copy of a copy of a bootlegged copy. Anyway, I saved it because I liked what it said, so much so I wanted to share it with you, dear reader. So, without further ado, here are the 10 Laws of Life by some unknown author who may or may not have been employed at some (probably de-funked) 1990's "sales success" organization.  


Enjoy!


Life Law #1: You either get it, or you don't.
Strategy: Become one of those who gets it.

Life Law #2: You create your own experiences.
Strategy: Acknowledge and accept accountability for your life.

Life Law #3: People do what works.
Strategy: Identify the payoffs that drive your behavior and that of others.

Life Law #4: You can not change what you do not acknowledge.
Strategy: Get real with yourself about your life and everybody in it.

Life Law #5: Life rewards action.
Strategy: Make careful decisions and then pull the trigger.

Life Law #6: There is no reality, only perception.
Strategy: Identify the filters through which you view the world.

Life Law #7: Life is managed, not cured.
Strategy: Learn to take charge of your life.

Life Law #8: We teach people how to treat us.
Strategy: Own, rather than complain, about how people treat you.

Life Law #9: There is power in forgiveness.
Strategy: Open your eyes to what anger and resentment are doing to you.

Life Law #10: You have to name it before you can claim it.
Strategy: Get clear about what you want and take your turn.


...And there you have it!

Keep going!!

~Craig