The Letters

/The Letters

Disciplines, Habits, and Routines

Not every Ironmen Letter is a towering epistle soaring among those clouds saturated in wisdom that rain down on mere mortal men. No, not every one, ahem. Some are mundane, with feet on the ground, designed to cover territory that is hopefully familiar, but fundamental nonetheless and therefore worthy of repetition. Two such recent Letters covered Motivation and Objectives. And now as we approach that ever recurring starting gate of the New Year, honing your behaviors is today and will forever be a critical aspect on gaining traction in personal growth. Ok, Time Out: Let me ask you to [...]

By | December 1st, 2017|Personal|

Next Year’s Objectives

Over the last 30 years or so, I have written down my goals maybe half the time and the other half just had them in mind. In assessing the difference, I'd have to give the nod to writing them down, as you'd expect me to say. The years I would continuously reference back to my written goals, the greater likelihood I wouldn't drift from them. My best year that saw the most economic gains was the year I worked my plan the most consistently. Which makes sense of course - plan your work and work your plan. The key to a successful [...]

By | November 24th, 2017|Personal|

Lincoln’s 2nd Inauguration

On Saturday March 4, 1865, a humid day with the Battle of Appomattox still more than 30 days away and Lincoln’s assassination 5 days beyond that, Lincoln gave this famous speech. Its structure and depth hold insights that we can apply today. It is instructive to our personal perspectives because from this distance we can discern and weigh without excessive partisan energy that always colors the present. Current partisan energy biases men’s minds, so looking back 152 years allows us the freedom of discernment without that bias. “Fellow-Countrymen:”, he begins with the democratic ideal of equality. By addressing his [...]

By | November 17th, 2017|Personal, Relational|


Are you born with motivation or is it something you can develop? After several decades of observing, I don’t have conclusions, but maybe some insights that might help you with your motivation.  It’s a nature/nurture kind of question: Are you born with the maximum amount of personal energy that drives you to wake up early and get after each day or is it something that must be coaxed and coerced into life with various techniques of threats and rewards? By my framing it as nature/nurture you already know that I think it’s both. We have a certain inherent disposition for [...]

By | November 11th, 2017|Personal|

The 45 Foot Dilemma

A plane must gain 50 feet of altitude by the end of the runway or face potentially devastating consequences. If for whatever reason takeoff does not occur, it doesn’t matter to the passengers why it hasn’t happened, blame is hopefully for tomorrow, only that impending tragedy has arrived. And now, as the margin for error has vanished and life and death decisions play out in an instant, the pilot holds the key to the future path of many lives. This metaphor has room to run. The pilot could be any one of us. As a young man, I can [...]

By | October 27th, 2017|Personal|

Projecting Success

The head jut. The way you carry yourself projects to the world how you feel about yourself: confident or insecure, disciplined or a little lazy, meticulous or possibly unaware. After 20+ years of being average in my awareness, I had average posture. The mid-thoracic area between my shoulder blades was weak, so I comfortably slouched in front of the computer. My belly sagged, shoulders rounded, and pelvis turned under. Even though I was working out in karate and running marathons, my posture sucked. I wasn’t projecting vitality. I was well on my way to some problems. No doubt you [...]

By | October 20th, 2017|Personal, Physical|