Personal

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Captain of my Soul

Resolve.

I recall being about 38 when I achieved relative independence from the enslaving qualities of youth – poverty, ignorance, arrogance, conflict, victimhood, and arrogance (yes, twice). Of course, you overthrow one master for the confines of another, but hopefully one more benign and a bit more cooperative. Ignorance and arrogance are as deadly a despot duo as can exist to which I can truly say I needed to overthrow that unruly team. That is the theme of today’s message: For you to become the man God has intended you to become, for you to fulfill and extend your potential, for you to achieve something that will bring you respect and satisfaction, you must have a revolution of the mind and spirit.

And how do you do that? A declaration of resolve. You have so much potential, but in today’s world of distraction it will take significant motivation and resolve for you to choose a book over a video game, a run versus a beer, a conversation instead of a text. If you were enslaved in oppression it might be easier to find that consistent resolve; however, in this day of easy living, it’s very difficult. How will you find the resolve to make something meaningful of your life and stick with it?

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate;

I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Though I am not beaten

With rod held in scorn,

I too appreciate

The fact that I was born

In the mild waters of indifference

I jostle amidst the crowd

Head anointed with comforts thus

I emerge face up-turned and proud

Beyond this place where distractions play

The siren’s song of strife

I stand firm and resolved

To bring meaning to my life

It matters not the allure or static

Nor chance’s dice that roll,

I decide what goes inside

For I too am the captain of my soul

David Lawrence Marr

Gentlemen, let me say that lessons continue long into life, the mountain continues ever upward. I am 54 and continued to be humbled by my past arrogances. Just today, I had some feedback on perceptions of who I am that was disturbing. My personal goal in life is to be a catalyst for positive change in the lives of everyone I meet. And here, today, I got feedback of just the opposite. Here’s the point: We are put on this planet for goodness sake. Feedback is designed for improvement, even if it isn’t positive. In fact, positive feedback doesn’t help as much as negative because it tells you you don’t need to improve versus you’ve got a ways to go. Listen, as Einstein said, “God doesn’t roll dice”, therefore, you being here isn’t some happenstance mistake. You are the Captain of your Soul. To where do you sail?

An Ironmen group of three men meeting weekly will provide you the forum to declare your resolve. It provides the accountability you need to your future self to make you the captain of your soul. You have set goals for the year which is now halfway gone. Have you kept your resolve to keep up with the discipline on your physical goals, your personal goals, your relational goals? Are you moving forward on your financial goals? What about your spiritual life?

To your continued success,

Dave

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By | January 27th, 2017|Personal, Spiritual|0 Comments

Version 2.0

Control/Alt/Delete.

I received the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill from my uncle when I was in college and I fell in love with the structure and formula of success. It was a revelation to me that there was a path to success which resulted in a life of substance and significance. That was the summer before my junior year. In his book, Napoleon Hill describes the Mastermind concept, and all these industry icons had one. Therefore, I had to have one. So I asked my two buddies, Dave and Rob, if they wanted to join me in starting a group. We agreed to meet every Monday at 6 am for two hours and set our goals for the week. We met for two years setting goals, dreaming about the future, and discussing all kinds of things. We goofed around a lot. I remember one week’s goal: “Clip fingernails, turn 21.”

In the course of things, we graduated and I moved away. The initial effort was great, but it obviously ended in undetermined success. It wasn’t until I started my second group that I established a pattern for success. Alan, Clark and I also met at 6 a.m. every Monday and covered pretty much the same stuff, goals and figuring out how to succeed in all aspects.  Why not have it all? We met for four years. It was this Ironmen 2.0 that made the most difference in my life. It got me motivated to get my MBA. It helped me in my career. The conversations we had made me look at myself and my hypocrisies and identified how I thought of myself as a victim to circumstances. My marriage benefited as we discussed the many perspectives of relationship. We were young and discovering. Subsequently, Ironmen 3.0, after I started my company, lasted a year or so. 4.0 was a few years. This last group I’ve been in with Brad and Rich has been over 10 years. The Ironmen concept defines me. Here’s my point, the idea is worthy of you. Take it on as your own and even though your life changes, always be on the lookout to reboot your thinking as your circumstances change.

I’ve received the question from a handful of you guys on how to find guys to meet with. You may have some friends that come to mind that you might feel comfortable with opening up to. But possibly those guys may be limiting. Your current set of friends think of you a certain way, maybe Version 1.0 that is in re-development. They might even have an interest in you staying the same. That way they can feel comfortable about themselves not growing to their capacity. These guys might have a mild competition with you and if you breakaway in success that’s not going to look so good on them. Therefore, if those guys put you in a box, you’ll need to find someone else to help you build your mental structure of success.

Where can you find them? Work. Church. Gym. Vendors. Customers. Neighbors. Husbands of your wife’s friends. Father’s of your kid’s friends.

Here’s the major point: If you desire a destination of success in business, health, marriage, parenting, and the heavier lifting of personal spiritually, the Ironmen concept is a vehicle that will take you there. However, the idea must be yours. You must own it. It can’t matter that the guys you’re going to meet with aren’t currently in your sphere, you must own the idea for yourself and the guys will appear in time. Whether it’s 1.0 for 2 months and 2.0 for 2 years doesn’t matter. It’s you and your path that matters. Each group builds, through success or even through failure, experience upon experience, a platform from which you will view the world. Stick with it.

Can you do it with one guy and not two? Of course, but it’s not optimal in my opinion. Can you do it in a group of 8 guys. Sure. But three is the best. Two guys aren’t a group when one guy doesn’t show, plus the mix of ideas can get stale. Four or more guys doesn’t allow for individuality and equal contribution. Some guy could dominate all the time or someone could hide and never contribute. That’s not for you if you’re looking for success. Each meeting needs to have equal contribution, accountability, vulnerability, transparency, follow up, follow through, and openness to feedback and growth. This format will be the foundation for your personal success in all aspects of your life. How could meeting for two hours every week with like minded motivated guys discussing goals and strategies for success result in anything less than a fantastic life?

Therefore, you must lead.

Begin your life’s leadership by deciding the level of success you’re looking for. Then agree with me that Ironmen will greatly enhance your ability to achieve that success. Then develop a strategy to find two guys to join you. If you do these things, you will absolutely be on the path to significant success in life.  Let me hear from you.  Tell me what’s going on.

To your life of continuous pursuit,

Dave Marr

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By | January 20th, 2017|Getting Started, Personal, Relational|0 Comments

Bourne Identity Crisis

Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity) is a lone wolf.  The character (not Matt Damon) is the epitome of manliness, mystery, danger, skill, toughness, detachment, sexuality, and is an island of self containment.  He’s a little more mysterious than 007, but still has a license and ability to kill.  Jason Bourne, James Bond, Dirk Pitt, Jack Ryan, Mitch Rapp – all characters who exude the independent, “I can do it on my own, no one understands me because I’m so tough and dangerous, I’m usually three steps ahead of just about everybody, and women really dig me” kind of guy.  He has power.

Ok, that’s cool.  I love those kind of movies.  In fact, I was in a Dirk Pitt movie (Sahara) as the iconic lone wolf waiter.  But that’s another story.  Those movies sell really well because they touch men at an inner level of self imagery.  Men want to see themselves as heroic.  They want to be desired by women.  They want to do it on their own, to be beholden to no man, wear the cool watch, drive the awesome car, and be free to satisfy themselves on the next female conquest.  Working in a cubicle 2080 hours a year, sack lunching it because your student loans and car payment suck up your cash flow, playing poker video at work to escape responsibility for a short while, going home and scrambling to get the kids fed, bathed, jammied, read to, and in bed for the night with hopes that your wife isn’t too tired to respond to your begging for sex – doesn’t seem like the life of danger and adventure.  Men’s minds wander.  Of course your life won’t be that way.

I don’t know any guy that hasn’t had some variation on the lone wolf idea.  Taken to the far end of this thinking (not even extreme far end), men do have sexual affairs outside the marriage, men do go it alone by turning a deaf ear, men do wall out the world to those who would bring them love and happiness.  Men do become dispirited.  They make movies like Hall Pass because of the commonplace contrast between men’s youthful expectations that continue to live in a middle aged body. Men can wake up one day disappointed in how little they’ve done in their life. The manly imagery they once held comes to crisis against the mundane workaday life they now lead.  Don’t think this is late 40’s stuff and is too far away for you twenty-somethings to worry about.  It becomes possible the day a man sees himself cemented in a life as a mere provider with no way out.

Thinking that way is a misperception of “reality”. First of all it’s important to understand that the lone wolf imagery is a fantasy that doesn’t truly exist (as I know you know).  As you mature in life you recognize the compromises necessary to balance self expression and family fulfillment – adventure of travel or little Joanie’s braces; being in top shape or keeping a job that requires travel; and recognizing that your wife will have ebbs and flows that are a function of the female life – are all realities of life.  That’s how life goes. So starting with an understanding of how life channels you down that potential pathway at least gives you a heads up.

Secondly, and this is pretty much my main driver with Ironmen, the more you take ownership of your life by showing up every day with the intention of succeeding in marriage, business and finances, health, and all the rest of it, the more likely you will succeed; and, in succeeding, have a greater likelihood of a life with more choices.  Everyone recognizes that 5 years ago you were less mature than you are today.  What is harder to understand is how much more mature you’ll be 5 years from now. It depends. If you get excited about your life; write down your goals for this year; include your wife (or girlfriend) in your plans; meet with like-minded guys every week and brainstorm success; measure your weekly successes against your plan – this will maximize your potential and your maturity.  This path will create a dynamic, energized, intentional, adventurous, fun existence.

The result will be that you will have too much personal momentum to mess with some extramarital woman, some superficial auto bling, or some job drama, or anything else that will remove you from the path of substance. Yes, you can be that man of power.

Fantasy is fine.  Enjoy the movies.

To your continued success.

Dave Marr

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By | January 13th, 2017|Personal|0 Comments

Never, Never, Never, Never…Never give in.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”  – Calvin Coolidge

“Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”  – Winston Churchill, October 29, 1941

These are two of my favorite quotes. I have many that guide me, but these two stand out. You can easily see how they relate to one another. Resolve. Will power. Persistence. Internal fortitude. Character. If that were all, they’d be great quotes. But there’s more. Much more. To wit:

When you hold yourself to account I’d bet everything I have that you don’t see yourself as some obsequious fool bowing down to gain favor until the slightest sign of difficulty arises. Rather you see yourself as up and coming, with direction, eyes held firm on the long road towards a life of significance and well-being, relative wealth and influence, connectedness and love. That is a good and appropriate vision, and manly so. Assuming you’re on the front end of life, that vision you hold has yet to be tested with any real tribulation. You know it will, but not how it will. You know you’ll face difficult times, but not the depth of that difficulty. And you may fear you’re not up to the task the day your mettle is tested in the fires of adversity.

Difficulty comes in all shapes and sizes. Being in a job that requires you to perform consistently to the vision of the company is the most common. Coolidge speaks to that. Talent, mental acuity, and education account for little if you don’t persist from moment to moment in your daily tasks. It is so easy to get up and take a coffee break to ease the burden of enduring mental effort. In sales, facing yet another “no” requires fortitude to make the call anyway. Keeping your mind and attitude positive and uplifting is more an internal discipline rather than a consequence of ease and pleasure. Coolidge rightfully says that these qualities of persistence and discipline alone will determine the likelihood of fulfilling your life’s vision.

And then there’s the Churchill quote. Sometimes events present themselves to you that will require more than everyday diligence. I have been moderately tested. When my wife broke her back and couldn’t lift our 2 year old or stand for more than 10 minutes, couldn’t sleep, and was dealing with serious pain which drained much joy from our life, that was a 7 year journey I couldn’t anticipate. It knocked me off the vision I held for my life. When the housing and stock market crashed and it was raining fire, that was another 7 year detour from my vision.

But here’s the thing, in the quotes above, each infers a vision, a hope, a way of life that you must steel yourself to. In the speech in which Churchill is quoted, he talks about how the nation “stood in the gap” with no flinching or thought of giving in. He gave words to his nation to inspire them to the struggle at hand. People need inspiration. My wife needed inspiration that she would come through. And through the difficulty with faith and encouragement, she did. My company needed inspiration that sterner days would lead to the sunny uplands (from the speech). And through perseverance, we did.

2017 offers you the opportunity to prove your mettle in small and meaningful ways. Your desires, your goals for the year, are but a Coolidgian training ground. You are developing your character, your ability to press on in the face of everyday challenges. Should you need that character in some Churchillian future where the flame of hope is a flicker in a storm, you will have the tested strength to Never, Never, Never, Never… Never give in.

 

To your growing character,

Dave Marr

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By | January 6th, 2017|Personal|0 Comments

Taking it to the Next Level

Here we are yet again. You’ve evaluated 2016 and have seen yourself in action. You’ve set annual, monthly, weekly, and daily objectives and now know better how you perform. For me, I have high energy in the morning and it diminishes as the day progresses. So my eating goals fall apart after dinner. I need to change my thinking. At work, I have come upon roadblocks that now will require more of me than I first thought. I must adjust. The weight of past challenges have diminished, so I feel buoyant to get after new objectives.

What will make 2017 a Happy New Year? More disciplined health? A more intimate female relationship? More success at work? Stronger faith?

You have the power at this exact moment to affect your 2017. Declare your intent. If in prayer you were to ask God for his favor and He were to respond to you “Well, what do you want?”, then you’d need to declare your desires, your intent, your willingness to take the next step even in faith. Take the step. Act in faith. Ask more of yourself. And I think God will respond positively.

I ask for God’s favor. I adjust to my past naive self understanding. I resolve to keep my motivation high so as to develop stronger disciplines. I show up every day and do my best.

What else is there?

Take this weekend and design who you will become in the coming year.

Many Blessings.

Dave Marr

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By | December 30th, 2016|Personal|0 Comments

Get FROM, not THROUGH

Subtle distinctions make all the difference in your world.

My youngest son Kevin, as many of you know, has graduated college. After 22 years of preparatory school, he has now entered “the real world”. Congrats to him. See if you can relate to this next part – so he gets a job where he must…pass licensing tests. He’ll be working for a financial company where he must pass a Series 6, 7, and 63 within the prescribed time in order to get a raise and retain employment. Do you see the difference between his formal education and now this first chapter in his adult life? Prior, Kevin needed to get through each level of school in order to move on to the next stage in his education. But here, he must get from his study materials in order to move on to the next stage of his career. Through…From….a subtle but incredibly meaningful distinction.

Jim Rohn exclaims, “Don’t get THROUGH the day – Get FROM the day.” His classic message in “The Art of Exceptional Living” is one of those daily inputs that is not only enjoyable to listen to and energizing, but lifelong in its practical wisdom that you can cheerlead your family with. Still, you may ask, where’s the subtlety? Through vs. From is certainly meaningful, but kinda straightforward, right?

No, actually it’s not. Here’s the challenge we have, you and me. I am often afraid of making a point that I feel is profound only to have a friend say “Oh yeah, I learned about that in 6th grade.” Sometimes I think I make a good point, but nothing outstanding, and I get quite a bit of positive feedback. The profundity of today’s message is this: Getting FROM the day and not just THROUGH the day is a truth for those that want abundance in life. All truths have depth. All depth has layers and facets and nuances.

Let me give you an example. I am using words to convey a message to you to the best of my ability. Shakespeare did the same with his writing. No doubt you might notice he and I are on slightly different planes. Because I aspire to be a better communicator, I listen to a Dartmouth professor cover Shakespeare’s plays in this 30 hour podcast I’ve been listening to…for 2 years! I’ve listened to the same 1 ½ hour recording on Othello for 3 months. Over and over again I listen to it, think about it, memorize it, let it inspire me, change me, lift me. I did the same for Hamlet and King Lear, etc. where I have paid with my mental “pound of flesh”. Shakespeare is as rich a writer as the English language has ever produced and I want to get as much as I can FROM him. (This is why men of great intellect read the Bible again and again because in it there is Truth, depth, subtlety, wisdom.) Shakespeare writes about the human condition; it is truth. And truth takes time to unpack to understanding.

Here’s the nuance: Kevin has not really been in a situation where he needed to study for life-long retention. Certainly, once he passes the test at work, he might not be tested every day on the material, so he won’t really know upfront what material is important and what’s forgettable. As he’s studying, he must read with intention. The word “Intentionality” is often overused, but here means mindful focus with the intent to truly understand. Now, there’s another word, understand, that could use some definition. To understand is to stand under, like standing under a waterfall, where the awareness of all the perspectives and information showers you from head to toe till you’re drenched. That’s what it means to understand. A full immersion in knowledge. Studying material with the full intent of getting it all, leaving nothing behind, gaining full understanding is what you get when you read “How to Read a Book” by Mortimer Adler. It’s the same approach to reading what I’ve been doing with Shakespeare. And it’s what Kevin would be wise to pursue – an immersion.

So what is this Letter about? 2017 is here. In the coming year, I challenge you to move away from just getting through ephemeral data as it streams by your conscious mind. Don’t check the box on small to medium accomplishments, but instead go for the big dive. Decide in the waning days of 2016 that you’re going to go deep on the main elements of your life – work, health, relationships, and God. As you finish up your goals for 2017, which are no doubt neatly typed up and taped to your bathroom mirror, underline in red the goals that will require total immersion, complete understanding, absolute dominance. When the notion of expert arises, people will look to you. What topics are you going to dedicate FROM which you will get everything it has to offer? Here’s a suggestion – Get the Rohn CD, get the Alder book, start an Ironmen group and commit to standing under till you are drenched.

2017 is here. How will you be different?

To your drenching wet life,
Dave Marr

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By | December 23rd, 2016|Personal|0 Comments

My Wilberforce Thesis

I hope you’ve seen the movie Amazing Grace about William Wilberforce. Through his life-long persistence, he was able to abolish slavery within the British Empire. As unlikely and impractical as his desires were, he was able to overcome a hundred and fifty years of national economic interests to wake up his countrymen to this moral imperative. His personal mode in which he identified an issue that inflamed him with purpose, thereby envisioning a world on a higher plane, where he steeled himself to that cause as the defining aspect of his life is my Wilberforce Thesis. My Wilberforce purpose is to reduce the divorce rate by 10% in Colorado. And though my success won’t result in any Parliamentary Act, it will be measured nonetheless in the countless lives over many generations. It would reduce drug use, crime, abortions, poverty, and result in a spiritual revival within families and communities. You no doubt see how quixotic this goal is just like Wilberforce’s contemporaries thought he was delusional as he embarked on his 36-year journey to end slavery.

I could use your help.

The divorce rate is a statistic that numbs the senses. To go from wedding to divorce is a journey from hope to pain. That journey is so well worn that somehow society has come to accept that the very foundation of an orderly society – family formation – cannot be improved upon and we must take the bad with the good. The collateral damage to our heritage is significant. Children grow up in a world where their emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual development are secondary to the drama unfolding before them. This drama is the norm for them and may be papered over in subsequent mental constructions, but remains a psychological safety issue throughout. This does not have to be.

Now, because this is so complex with macro and micro forces at play, it is easy to conclude that the divorce rate is insoluble. It’s not. It just requires a Wilberforce effort. Think about your life. What could have happened in your childhood that would have dramatically made your life…worse? A divorce? Parallel universe evaluations are difficult to imagine, but lives do turn on specific events. I can look back on the lives of my children and can pinpoint the event that dramatically impacted their lives. Lis and I took a parenting course and came to realize we weren’t on the same page in the least. In this course we were given communication perspectives, parenting philosophy, spiritual structure, practical advice, and a path to be a team. We were hooked and our children were the beneficiaries of a greatly enhanced marriage.

In the many years that we taught the class, we’ve seen scores of marriages be born anew with hope as the clouds of marital frustration dissipated when the sun shone on their misunderstandings. The result for so many families was marital harmony, which allowed their children to thrive. Couples came to the class to get better at parenting and left with better marriages. What would happen to society if this could be scaled? What would happen if all marriages improved just a little?

So that’s what we’re doing. We are taking OneFamily and Ironmen to society through our 501(c)3 non-profit HeadwatersLife. The idea is to develop a network of churches to offer the suite of parenting classes (Baby Wise, Toddler Transition, Parenting from the Tree of Life, Middle Years, and Reaching the Heart of your Teen) to families in the community. So often parents want to take a class, but any given church doesn’t offer what they need, when they need it, so they pass on the idea. A network of churches allows OneFamily to minister to the community in a way that individual churches alone cannot.

To this effort, we have hired the perfect couple to lead this generational cause – Rich and Shelly Howard. They have been leading the parenting program at Cherry Hills Community Church for over 10 years, know the material inside and out, and believe heart and soul in this cause. In addition to the above, we have translated the material into Spanish in order to affect that population as well.

Now to how I could use your help – Any undertaking of this magnitude requires converts. With Rich quitting his “real” job and going into this ministry full time, we have burnt the ships. It would be a real boost to have you introduce me to companies, foundations, or large donors that might help me shoulder the economic load. I can come talk with them about OneFamily. Donations from you work too and would be greatly appreciated. Further, if you belong to a church and think a parenting program would be welcome, I would appreciate the assist in getting introduced. If you have a small group and want to look into having the program in your home, can do. Lastly, society needs you to succeed in marriage and life. In doing that you create room for Amazing Grace in the lives of generations to come.

To your life of family success,

Dave Marr
Founder HeadwatersLife

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By | December 17th, 2016|Parenting, Personal, Spiritual|0 Comments

Nothing Stands Alone

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” was last week’s opening aphorism by Benjamin Franklin. Why would that be? Why would going to bed early have any effect on wealth and wisdom? My experience is that there is a high correlation to this being true. I know many wealthy guys and they are early risers. I know many men whom I consider to be wise and they greet the dawn. It should be good enough to just accept this as true, change our ways accordingly, and reap the results. But somehow it’s not good enough. Probably because of confusion on the understanding – causality versus correlation. Are the men healthy, wealthy, and wise just because they get up early or are they in the process of becoming healthy, wealthy and wise and getting up early is a condition of that?

Are you in the process of becoming healthy, wealthy and wise? What character traits emerge from a wise man versus a fool? A fool spends his youth whereas a wise man invests his time. Spending consumes whereas investing builds. If you extrapolate your current trajectory, would you say you are investing your time or spending your time? Clearly, the mindset is different.

To that mindset: We are at year end. This month should be about reflecting on how you behaved this year with a discerning eye. It is commonplace for young men to think one thing about their behavior and misunderstand what’s really going on. Intentions and actions might not be aligned. So as you look back on your behavior did you set goals last year that had no chance of accomplishment like I did for so many years? Fooling yourself for a year or two can mean you’re naive to how life works. Continuing to fool yourself about your own behavior for many years can mean you are being foolish, i.e. a fool. Not a good thing. So look back on the year and evaluate how you performed relative to your expectations. Pull out your goal sheet and compare reality – did you spend your time or did you invest it?

This is not about condemnation, but evaluation. If you underperformed to your desires, is it because of a weak understanding on how new habits must overcome the momentum of old habits and also why the old habits formed in the first place? You are navigating you and are finding out that you and life are a bit more complex than what you previously thought. And yet, also not so complex. Early to bed and early to rise is a pretty straightforward formula. If you got up at 5 a.m. every day, what would you do with that extra hour+ of each and every day? You’d be trading an hour+ of nighttime for an hour+ of morning. What would you do 7 days a week with that time? How would you invest it? Health: Would you work out? Wealth: Would you plan your day? Wisdom: Would you read? But first you’d have to resolve the reason why you’re staying up the extra hour+ at night. You need a strategy to make the shift, because without a strategy the momentum of your old habits will not be overcome by the new effort.

Your life is emerging in front of your eyes. Your behavior of the past year is culminating into the future. Looking back and evaluating the good, the bad, and the ugly is wise. Adjusting from last year’s performance for the coming year is what men of substance do. They don’t just throw down new goals and promise to try harder next year. The idea of New Year’s resolutions is laughable. For example, the goal of working out in the new year when you didn’t do so consistently in the past doesn’t result in any change unless your approach resolves the reasons you didn’t work out. For me, I need to commit to another person or I just wouldn’t do it. Therefore, I pay my trainer, TJ, so I am more consistent with my health goals because I flounder otherwise. Now I get up at 4:30 7 days a week so I can get my workouts in and still have the day in front of me. In my early years, I figured this out about myself. Without a TJ in my life, I just don’t workout hard enough or consistently enough or with enough specificity to my goals.

Nothing stands alone. Every element of your life is function of your behavior pattern. Your behaviors manifest your life in front of your eyes. If you are a future man of wisdom, your behaviors invest in that lifestyle so that wisdom emerges. If you are in the early stages of being wealthy, you invest in the behaviors that manifest wealth. Neither wealth nor wisdom are by accident but a result of consistent wealthy and wise behaviors which is no different than health being a consequence of healthy behaviors.

Now is the time to catch yourself in the act. Look back on the year and discern those behaviors that show promise, invest in those behaviors, and enjoy watching health, wealth, and wisdom emerge.

To a wise goal setting process,

Dave Marr

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By | December 9th, 2016|Getting Started, Personal|0 Comments

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Abundance is the fruit of specific habits. Nothing stands alone.

An insightful quote by Frank Outlaw says it better:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

My contention is that the 3rd line is the key to an abundant life. Your thoughts, of course, are invaluable and training your mind to positive production is without a doubt a critical skill. But without action our intentions can become muddled. Unless you can create habits that move you forward, you won’t develop the character that will define your positive destiny.

Abundance habits are everything. Certainly you are developing habits now regardless of your intentions, but are they the ones that when you look 5-10 years down the road will result in you becoming the man you wish to be? Your family needs you to be? God offers you to be?

Nothing stands alone. Our mind and habits will manifest a life of abundance or a life of penury or one of the infinite lukewarm variations in between. Abundance habits at home affect your habits at work. Disciplined workout habits affect habits at home and at work. Discipline begets discipline. Energy radiates energy. Positive engenders positive. Wherever you are, you are there.

If you, like me, desire to be in a fantastic marriage, then it’s not all that difficult to figure out what to do to make that happen. Good marriage habits of expressing love and appreciation in their love language isn’t all that hard. However, it’s easy not to do.

If you, like me, desire to have robust health, then it’s not confusing in any way what needs to happen every day. This God given tool must be cared for in order to fulfill the upper ends of your desires. Good health habits of drinking water, moving your body, stretching regularly, and having a health action plan is not rocket science, but it’s easy not to do.

If you, like me, desire to have material abundance that gives you a sense of accomplishment and power over your economic life, then the path is fairly well worn. I hear about guys focusing their youth on money and career before they’ll consider a wife and kids, which I think is short sighted. Good work habits of being on time and prepared isn’t all that hard. Show up, stay focused, be a team player, and it’ll work out in your favor. But being 5 minutes late and under prepared is easy to do.

If you are like me and desire a stronger relationship with God, a deeper understanding of Truth, an increased capacity for gratitude, compassion, and wisdom, then habits that dynamically engage your heart and mind must be consistently pursued. It takes time to accumulate meaning, to distinguish nuance, to resolve questions. Daily habits allows Truth to ferment.  It is all too easy to be distracted and not build those positive habits.

Of course Stephen Covey’s Book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a must read to get the full flavor. But for today #2 stands out. The New Year beckons. What habits will you develop that will drive all areas of your life?

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Let me propose 2 habits:

  1. Get up between 5:00 – 5:30 a.m. every day. You have 100% control over this. Fill your morning with a daily routine that allows you to consistently move toward your End in Mind.
  2. Meet once per week with 2 other men to hold yourself accountable to your End in Mind. (Congratulations Chad with your new group!)

“But I don’t have time.” “I don’t have the guys.” “We can’t coordinate.” “I stay up too late.”

Your destiny awaits.
To your abundant destiny,

Dave Marr

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By | December 2nd, 2016|Personal, Spiritual|0 Comments

Window of Opportunity

Good morning. I trust you Americans enjoyed your share of over indulgence, football, and gratitude. I sure did (though I am writing this prospectively and not retrospectively. Gives you an idea of my intent). This year I’ve talked about material abundance. In my writings, I don’t consider material wealth to be “he who dies with the most toys – wins!” That thought is beyond shallow. But material wealth IS something. To us guys it’s a big deal because it’s a scorecard. Material wealth does provide a sense of accomplishment. In other words, it demonstrates to our fellow man that we have done something of value. Today’s message is a fulcrum message – Archimedes said “Give me a lever and I can move the world”. I want to you to move your world with today’s message.

The modern world presents you with some unique challenges, challenges that I didn’t have to face when I was your age. Certainly, I faced the difficulties of my era, but the one’s here today are particularly insidious. If you want to achieve success to a reasonable degree of your potential, you must identify these obstacles, figure out a strategy to overcome them, muster the willpower to develop the habits for consistent action, and feedback the results of your (in)actions into your strategy, habits, and willpower to bring your potential to the market and your life. And you must do this before you sink into the soup of your past behaviors that slow your ability to develop winning strategies and habits. You have a window of time to do that.

I’ve been talking with a guy who appears to have quite a bit of potential. Very likable guy. Knowledgeable. Good communicator. But the weight of his past behaviors on the other side of the lever has built up and now and it’s very, very difficult for him to arrange new habits to get momentum in his life. One habit he has carried for a while is being undisciplined with his punctuality which has undermined his credibility at home and at work. He has let others dictate whether he would keep his word. If he told his wife he’d be home at 5:30 and some appointment is late, then he breaks his word with his wife. He gets home late, she’s pissed, and he feels guilty. Ok, if it happens once, not that big of a deal. But if he’s characterized by it, then their marriage falls on hard times which in fact has happened. If his relationship with his wife now needs extra attention and his lack of discipline on his word continues and he is consistently late for important meetings, he risks his new job which loops back to his family as him being an untrustworthy provider. In this 5-cent psychoanalysis, he has not built up his character through self-disciplined forming habits in his 20’s and 30’s to avoid what is likely a crash here in his early 40’s.

Habits are everything. Once a habit is formed it is almost impossible to change it. Only extreme pain, loss of family, loss of health, can change some ingrained habits. That is why in your early years you must build winning habits: character, health, interpersonal, work, and importantly mental habits. I don’t know what other habits the above mentioned guy did or didn’t develop; regardless, he is not a victim to his own life. He has done this to himself. The window on easy change is closing fast.

And that brings me back to you. This modern world has so many distractions and entertainments, you don’t actually need introspection to have a modestly enjoyable life – if you don’t want anything big. You can play on-line games endlessly so you don’t need real life friends. You can jack off to on-line porn, so you don’t need a real life woman. You can live in an abundant world and get by with the minimum and be ok. And the day the window closes on your habits, what then? Now, I know this extreme characterization does not fit you, but it might to some degree. That’s why I say the modern world’s enjoyments are insidious, they sneak into your life as relaxation habits – A Trojan horse of sorts.

And so now to the fulcrum idea. There are leverage points in the year. Your birthday is one. Thanksgiving is another. And the New Year is a big one. It stands there as a mile marker to your life. You look back and assess how far you’ve come and you look forward to the acquisition of habits, skills, events, and accomplishments. The New Year is upon us. You should have a sense of urgency to your New Year’s plan, not as trite resolutions, but as a fulcrum to dislodge entrenched habits. What habits do you have that need to be improved upon? What habits do you need to acquire? What habits do you need to eliminate? How do you muster the willpower to make the changes that already have you stuck? What is your strategy?

The window of opportunity to create a life of abundance is now IF you take action. The New Year is fresh and clean with potential. You’ve got a month to think about how you’re going to leverage your time to maximum benefit and move your world.

To a life of abundance,
Dave Marr

(“Start an Ironmen Group”, said in a whisper)

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By | November 30th, 2016|Personal|0 Comments