Yesterday, the resumption of the regular calendar immediately after Leap Day, was to be anything but normal.

  • 8:30 – Coffee in Mukilteo with attorney mentor, colleague, & friend – Dubs Herschlip. See [HERE].
  • 10:30 – Land Surveyors’ Association of Washington (“LSAW”) Conference at the Tulalip Casino & Resort. See [HERE].
  • 11:00 – Service Call with Legal Match. See [HERE].
  • 4:00 – Dental appointment back in Seattle at Crown Hill. See [HERE].

Though not quite the excitement of Ray Liotta’s portrayal of Henry Hill in the helicopter scene in “Goodfellas,” this was going to be a big day. See [HERE].

Soon though, the need for decisive action would be much more compressed than even that high-flying portrayal.

About 6:50, I was just starting to take of my gym clothes readying for a shower before dashing off and I noticed a man was/had fallen behind me. He had passed with nothing more than a towel covering his waist and did the color of his face did not look good. Go time!

I called out for my locker-room mates to call 911. Three dashed over from the next bank of lockers and started to attend to him. Not worrying that I had no top on, I dashed to the front desk, and asked them to call 911 … they confirmed that they already had.

Returning to the locker room, I first called out: ‘Hey guys, help’s on its way. Let’s move this bench so there is plenty of room for the stretcher.’ Bench immediately gone.

Then, I remembered that I had seen Phil – a doctor that I had shared a return flight from Atlanta last Fall – swimming. So, while the others were attending to this fallen gentleman, I went straight to the pool.

Dr. Phil was almost just about to complete his lap and I was able to catch his attention before his turn. To my query: “Could you come to the locker room, there is a man there who has had a heart attack or seizure.” … Dr. Phil’s answer was simple: “Sure.”

He then got out of the pool and calmly came with me. By this time another gym member and doctor – Andy – was attending.

Together, they took over. Towels needed?! Towels appeared.

Dr. Phil took vitals inventory and started CPR compressions and mouth to mouth resuscitation while Dr. Andy raised their emergency patient’s legs.

Starting to get tired, trainer Alberto jumped in to relieve Phil of compression duties and my offer to keep this unfortunate man’s legs in the air was accepted.

Dr. Andy started to rifle through the locker of the downed man, stuffing his clothes into the man’s gym bag and soon found his main aim of securing the man’s wallet and phone.

Now, we had the man’s name: “Matt …”. These personal effects were passed out to a good Samaritan whose name I later discovered was Tim.

Tim called the last person with whom Matt had spoken. This gal, presumably from his work, knew Matt’s wife and got the message across of the situation and was advised to start making her way from their Mount Vernon home.

“Do you guy’s have a defibrillator?” Dr. Phil asked somewhere in all the commotion.

Someone said: “No.” And now, Dr. Andy was on top giving compressions.

Soon though, Alberto showed up with one and Dr. Phil was back at work.

Now it came down to the medics, would they make it on time?

Yet topless, I went back up to the front desk and asked what was going on. They said they were 4 blocks away. OK!

I’m going to take the elevator down and be waiting for them. Down to floor 2 which is the entrance most vehicles come in on. More importantly though from floor 2, we can also see out to the streetside at floor 1.

Approached by a couple of folks wanting to ride the elevator to the gym instead of taking the stairs, I told them we have a medical emergency. No fuss, both started their workouts 20 seconds earlier … they took the stairs.

Ambulance arrives at streetside floor 1. Down I go.

Four big guys in blue step step on and up we go.

“Ok, as you go out take a right and take another right past the front desk and the men’s locker room is again to the right.” The elevator opens at 4 and off they go.

“Ok, I’m going to go down again for the stretcher,” I said to the kid at the front desk.

“The stretcher is already here.”

“Really?!” Thinking to myself, how the hell would a stretcher have made it up there when I hadn’t been away from the only elevator. ‘Whatever.’

I went back to the locker room and had my answer. A plastic, yellow, handheld gurney was now in the locker room too.

Blue now attending. I counted 10 total. Though I didn’t have a sight line I believe they opened up Matt’s trachea to ease breathing, got him on an EKG, and also gave some sort of shot – epinephrine? But, even if I did have the sightline … I don’t know!

Dr. Andy gave his contact info to the paramedic with the computer. I asked him if he wanted Dr. Phil’s contact info too.

“Yes, could you ask him to come give it to me.”

So, back to the pool and Dr. Phil was just finishing his interrupted swim. So, that worked out.

Ultimately, the paramedics got Matt under a heavy clear plastic tarp and raised him to the real stretcher which had ultimately arrived. Strapped down, off they went.

Did Matt live or die? I think he was lucky, but I don’t know.

Whether he had or not. The picture above is the same either way!

Last task by blue, clear away the sharps … and make sure to watch the blood too.

Back to me. Shower, dress, call to Dubs, and the realization that I and another 20 – 30 people had spent 30 minutes of our lives for that of another – a good trade!

I arrived in Mukilteo right at 9:00. Though admittedly I wasn’t as calm as Dr. Phil.

“Form is Content.” Notice how Orca’s whale tale is an echo of the roof, or is it the other way around? At any rate the micro and macro imitate one another.

This house was an absolute wreck several years and two construction companies had false starts before they built this one less than 5 years ago. For proof, see [HERE].[1]

My immediate thought was why the heck would you ever do an inverted roof in that portion of the PNW where we have a lot of drizzling rain – Seattle.

Well, here we are with the roofing answer – Orca!

Again, Orca roofing’s whale tale is an echo of the roof itself, or is it the other way around?

One should hope that Orca is able to provide an adequate solution.

But, if the original design is faulty, well then how much can Orca really do?

It would seem that builders that place inverted roofs in the rainy northwest certainly assist roofers to stay in business.

Point here is to take care of the small details because they represent over time in a big way.

Again, the micro and macro meet!


[1] Amazingly, this post of the old house is 2 days off of being 5 years to the day!

Below is my note recently sent to the Seattle Men’s Book Club advocating to review this book this April 2024.

I had volunteered to host the club’s January meeting next Monday, but have bowed out because I decided to take a woodworking class which conflicts. Enjoy!

Gentleman –

I have received the Draft 2024 Selections list and wanting to (a) express my contrition for pulling out on hosting this month’s meeting; (b) soon reschedule in lieu; and (c) host the month that we will be reviewing my favorite book – The Ox-Bow Incident …

I would like to propose hosting review of Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s “The Ox-Bow Incident” on Monday, April 15.

April’s draft book selection is The Coming Wave by Mustafa Suleyman (320 pages).

That’s a compelling choice because big changes happen in the Spring … and it would be able to think ahead about the future implications of AI.

Yet, I would argue that Tilburg’s classic (288 pages) is an even better choice for April this year.

The book explores “mob justice” and I have come to understand it as the crucifix story provided in the form of a western.

Notably, “The Ox-Bow Incident” was published in 1940 and demonstrated the need for people not to get caught up taking on the passions of the crowd … as was the case in Germany.

I believe that the timeless message of stopping to think as to what is the truth, instead of just allowing the crowd to passionately sway opinions, would be a great idea to discuss well ahead of the election season.

As a final not incidental aside, our discussion date would fall in between Easter (March 31) and Passover (April 22), so though I am a gentile … I would like to attempt to make our meal something on the order of a seder – and in doing so remember that the Last Super was the Passover Seder.

Regarding dinner preparations, I would be willing to take advice. If my enthusiasm is misguided, please advise … we may in addition/in lieu consider how to make the meal suitable for review of a Western novel.

Perhaps you all could discuss this on Monday when you meet and advise if my offer is acceptable.

Sincerely, BZ/JUSTICE SMILES, pllc

Long before Simon Sinek beseeched us to “start with why”, Napoleon Hill declared identifying one’s “Major Definite Purpose” as paramount in the development of sustained desire and all the benefits that flow therefrom.

According to Hill and his myriad immediate and derivative follower’s, success is largely defined by the clarity of one’s vision and faithful and persistent action to achieve the same. Yes, it is true that organized planning is important. However, between it and the clarity of one’s purpose, vision, and goal(s), the set of the later are far more important. Why?

Because a clear, meaningful vision is what gets people to come together to do the hard, dirty, and sometimes damnable work required to get a job done.

The question then becomes, who is the one to do this job of creating the vision? Answer: EVERYONE! True, it is the leader’s overarching master vision which must be clearly communicated. But, then each contributor – from the “bottle washer” straight to the “head chef” – must also have a vision of that which they want to accomplish … and how it serves as an integral part of the whole.

My personal and professional experience includes work as the only non-Chinese member of a real estate development firm. That was an incredible experience in which I learned about group dynamics. Believe me its business expression is not a panacea.

The problem encountered is that all decisions appeared to be made at or very close to the top. And so, while the team was willing to work much closer together than a Western team, any benefits which may have been gleaned from that advantage were more than dissipated by the perceived need to micro-manage.

What a clear master vision and integrated individual professional visions does then is to ALLOW the company to progress as quickly as possible. But, is this where it stops?

Not, if the start-up wants to not only get off the launch pad, but also out of orbit and fully on mission. See, it is the identification of roles and future goals which allows this along with attendant procedural documentation.

And this often for the true start-up entrepreneur can often be not only the most difficult and painful part. Start-ups by their very nature are flexible. They seek to provide maximal value in new product and service arenas. But, building and certainly scaling will not come without clearly cutting out that which is not most viable.

It’s not easy. But, perhaps the best analogy that I know to illustrate how to successfully navigate the process comes from Jim Collins. He suggests that businesses should start by firing BBs until the target is fully defined and recognized as profitable. Then, start shooting cannon balls.

And here’s the point. Cannon balls can only be produced in mass with procedure.

So, recapping. Identify, the purpose and vision, dial in on the goal, clarify the roles and goals, and then … FIRE AWAY!  

I just got back from my Woodworking class! I had a blast and at this point love every bit about it. As I indicated in a previous post, I suddenly fell in love with wood bicycles and realized that I need to bring this into my life.

Now, this may seem crazy or at least done on a whim. Though, I don’t thinks so. See, I have had it my goal to identify my goal for the last several months of active pursuit and for years prior to that as well.

So, when I found my goal … I decided to quickly swing into action. And one of those actions was to sign up for Wood Working II.

Wait, what? Why didn’t you sign up for Wood Working I. Oh, that’s easy … the class was full.

And when you are on fire, you just will not take “No” for an answer. So, I looked at the next level of class offered and noticed that it seeks people who took wood working I … or have equivalent experience.

Well heck! I built a beautiful canoe paddle back in 7th or 8th grade shop. In fact, you will see it in that picture above.

Not so much of a canoe paddle now though right. You are correct!

Around a month in to my start in personal development back in 2019 with Bob Proctor, there was the first of what would be a series of 3 snow storms that hit Seattle.

Now at the time, I was following a headstrong protocol of running down, up, down, and finally back up Seattle’s Magnolia Neighborhood’s Big Hill – Dravus!

And being the headstrong guy that I am … I went out in the snow, fell down and seriously sprained and possibly broke my left ankle.

Response? I brought it on and did a full 8 circuits of that hill!

That’s right! I don’t allow myself to suffer much pain … but, I seem to be damn good at suffering fools … or at least the fool of me.

Continuing, I ultimately was on my way up to the February consultants training with Bob Proctor and needed a cane … what to do.

Now, spend regular money for something like that … not on your life, that’s “very expensive” … and I certainly didn’t feel that I was worth the expense.

Then it dawn on me that I could use a paddle to make a cane.

Now, as a not incidental aside. My father took over and completed a cedar strip canoe that one of his family members had given up as too difficult.

In fact, I still have that canoe hanging out in our garage.

And with it are several different canoe paddles … all of which are generic.

But, I knew that molesting his property would never do. Solution, I decided to molest my own!

Kind of funny in that I justified it as creating a cane which I could give to my father and a breadboard to my wife as gifts.

Oh, and here I should not fail to mention that this was right about the time that the hammering commenced as to the stupidity of me being ‘hornswoggled’ by the resident Proctologist himself.

I was extremely frustrated that my family was not only not keen with the study that I was doing to be able to improve myself – but actually through several obstacles in my way and gave me hell … until they finally realized that they were not going to break my spirit … the only person who gets to break my spirit is me!

What happened? Well, I felt broken and they felt compelled to pound on my aims.

I liken this to them being the hammer, but I continued as the anvil!

Would I like to have that paddle back in it original form?

No. Symbolically, I decided to break the paddle … instead of allowing my family to break me.

At this point, these items are indications of relational frustrations. But, I now have the strength to not really allow it to bug me anymore.

It took years, but I am finally liberated.

Ok, it’s time for me to liberate myself from this computer and to get up to bed.

I have the Pacific Coast 5:30 AM Self-Confidence and Self-Discipline Boot Camp.

Join us! Our environment will be just what the doctor of the heart would always prescribe …

Love your neighbor as yourself. And be good to one another.

I think the first quote is attributed to Jesus; the second one … I don’t know – Was it Bill or was it Ted?

At any rate, I’m up way past my bedtime. So … Night-night.


No doubt, you have heard from someone on life’s journey say that the key to living a good life is to always ask: “What would Jesus do?”

For Christians, of which I am somewhere in the rank and file, I think this is a worthwhile question …. to ask oneself. But, that’s about as far as it goes.

Why? Because I believe matters of faith are to be self-directed and not proclamation as a means of seeking to declare one’s superiority over another.

So, basically the self-directed question (for a Christian – or perhaps one of another faith who is able to swing wide as to breadth and depth of their understanding of differing faiths) is perfectly fine.

To seek to ask that question as a means of forcing someone else’s faith … ‘not so much.’

That ecumenical clarity now aside, why the heck would I swap the name “Goggins” in for “Jesus”?

Oh, I’m glad you asked.

The reason for this is because on an early Saturday morning, this is the question that I am using to break the litigation that is going on in my mind?

The question is a very easy one and one that is immortalized by a song of The Clash on their “Combat Rock” Album (no less): “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” LISTEN [HERE].

Yes, that’s right. I was asking myself that very question!

See, last night (as I was finishing off the last of several new habits I am seeking to install all at once in the last few minutes of the 5th day of this new year) I noticed a FaceBook feed indicating that The Green Lake Running Group was having its 17th Anniversary and all runners – present and past – were invited.

Now, I am definitely a past runner; and a quick one at that … at least as a “flash in the pan.” To wit, I was a part of this group for about a couple of years before running the Seattle Marathon in 2019 … and then petered out quite a bit until Covid happened and well, that served as the excuse to let my “running career” go.

Now, I’m not only back to the weight that I was prior to the start of that journey to marathon … and then some, and of course no less than 5 years older.

An “old fart” of my age should take advice like Jack Nicholson’s character – Jake Giddis and …”Just Forget it Jake! [It’s China Town].” SEE my fairly recent blog post on the ‘other channel’ – [HERE].

But no, prior to going to bed a mere 4.5 hours ago, I signaled my intent to go to founder of this running group 17 years ago – Loka Murphy – that I would attend.

I wake up this morning though … because I am habituated to the Pacific Coast Boot Camp’s time and it’s raining outside and my mind of course tries to think of all the plausible excuses to keep me off purpose.

And then the perfect question to break the log jam comes to me …

What would Goggins do?

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with David Goggins, just know that he’s the guy that went from being a lowly bug exterminator to arguably the word’s “baddest ass!”

David Goggins is a graduating member of (a) the United States Air Force Tactical Control Party; (b) the Navy Seal BUD/S training class 235; and (c) as an Army Ranger where he received a peerless, peer review and was awarded the “Enlisted Honor Man” award. Notably, he is the 36th African-American Navy Seal in US Navy Seal history!

So, by asking myself the question … “What would Goggins Do?” … I immediately have the answer.

Get off your candy-ass, get up, get ready, and … JUST DO IT!

And you know what’s so cool is that I still had enough time to take a pic of myself and bang out this blog post beforehand too!

Ok, I’m off to the Green Lake Runner’s Group Meetup just down the hill at Chinooks. Hell, maybe I should just run down there … that’s what Goggins would do!

Well, maybe I’m not ready to go FULL Goggins quite yet! 🙂


That’s right! Don’t Listen to the Naysaying Nellies!

When Master Mentor Gary Glass shared that with us this morning at the Pacific Coast Boot Camp, it really jumped out at me.

Gary then followed up by saying that you should make sure that you don’t share your dreams to anyone but a select few, because most people will scoff at you.

This has definitely been my experience! And unfortunately it has been my experience recently. Did I give in? Hell, no it just means that it’s time to add gas.

Now, of course the scaredy cats that I shared my big idea with attempted an intervention to prevent me from moving forward. As far as they are concerned, any extra effort in the direction of my aim would amount to “Putting out the Fire with Gasoline” … a David Bowie lick used in the erotic fantasy – “Cat People.” LISTEN [HERE].

And to that, I say Hell Yea! I just became further resolved to fire forward along my aim!

And that’s kid of the point now! Their discouragement has actually so engulfed me with a burning white heat of desire that my goal is a fait accompli!

See, all I have to do now is persist!

Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.

Napoleon Hill

Well, the world is my oyster … and it can be yours too! There’s plenty of it to share!

We are still not even a whole work week into the Napoleon Hill Institute’s Pacific Coast 5:30 AM Self-Confidence and Self-Discipline Boot Camp. If you want to glean some incredible information from Gary too, just shoot me an email to

Yesterday’s post spoke about the absence of purpose v. the presence of purpose.

In it I indicated much of the hardship that I had been going through in the pursuit of my own purpose – to help bring people together in peace!

Why exactly that is my purpose, I don’t know. But, it is one of those things that if I don’t pursue, then I feel as if I have failed.

I feel that this is best likened to the story of Jonah and the whale. If you are familiar with the story … you may understand, if you don’t, well then you certainly won’t. Regardless, Jonah’s Wale of a tale is for another time.

Now returning, my vision was to help neighbors to be able to “see the law” and as a result be able to prevent the entering into needless conflict, which in turn would greatly assist to bring about peace.

Did it work? Not very well as I had it originally formulated. You see, lawyers are paid for time in conflict. And while, my skill is to get people out of conflict, I like to do it quickly.

And guess what … lawyers are paid on time in conflict! Big problem.

So, with all my might, my attempts to change the system through the generation of my “Legal Geometrics” and “Legal Data Visualizations” has not (yet) generated adequate results.

And this is where it gets tricky. Do I stay with it as if “perfecting sealing wax” and risk a ’20th nervous breakdown.’ See [HERE]. Or, do I put it on the shelf and come back to it later?

Now, that’s a very interesting question. It would be incredibly awesome if I had been in the place of Steve Job’s decision to put the iPad on the shelf to first go after the iPod. Listen [HERE].

The reality though is that kind of decision quite likely would end up being a path choice akin to that of Robert Frost’s “A Road Less Traveled” … which in this post from my other channel I explained with considerable aid from other’s research means almost exactly the opposite of what everyone believes it to mean. …

To wit … the path is the right choice, because the path chose was the choice! See [HERE].

The result? I was stuck at that crossroads for a long, long time!

I’d take a bit of work here and a bit of work there to have some sort of income, but was my heart in it? Hell no!

But, I couldn’t walk away from the idea … this was my purpose, and my vision was to be able to bring people to peace through it so I had a vision too.

The problem though was that I didn’t have a goal.

Now, perhaps it would have been great to have the goal to completely change the Real Estate Broker/Title Insurance/Mortgage Lender slight of hand that allows these errors to exist virtually everywhere … but what would that do?

At this point, forcing that issue would bring good neighbors into conflict where non currently exists … and does that serve my purposeful vision? No it does not!

So, again stuck, stuck, stuck, years on end past, years on end future … until my soul is spun off this planet or falls in to it.

And then something happened. I found out that I might be able to get involved with a bicycle company. Well, now I have always loved bicycles.

  • I learned how to ride a bicycle the very first day that it was finally given to me at age 6 – instead of age 5 as all the other kids in the neighborhood with the starter bike given to me.
  • I converted my second bike … a cherry red, original banana seat and “Easy-Rider” handle bars “Schwinn” to a motorbike when that original style’s “wheels [culturally] came off” metaphorically akin to that movie’s end. See [HERE].
  • I worked my tail off – though no doubt my father thought was candy-ass – at a sub-standard rate one summer by any normal kid’s assessment in the neighborhood in which I grew up digging out garden pilings to make enough money that I could buy a 12-Speed Kabuki bicycle which was my last real bike.

See, we moved to Santa Fe, NM where because of the size of the narrow and generally dirt streets, it’s appropriate to have a mountain bike.

One big problem! Where to get the money? For a kid, Santa Fe was not nearly as easy to earn money as a kid as it was up in Minneapolis.

In the former, in addition to summer caddying, there was (and to the best of my knowledge still is) always grass to mow, or leaves to rake, or snow to throw. Santa Fe didn’t have that … and money didn’t otherwise flow.

My Kabuki did make it with me to college and then up here to Seattle. In fact, that reminds that one of the things that I wanted most when I came up here after graduating from school were 3 things I could straddle: a motorcycle; a snowmobile; and a horse!

These haven’t happened, though I did purchase an ride a motorcycle when I lived in Taiwan. That was like running was akin to “running with the bulls in Spain!” And again, that’s a story for another day.

The fact of the matter is that I just forgot about how much I love to straddle these modes of transport … it’s freedom!

But, what the heck does this have to do in any respect with purpose and vision.

Well, I see as a vision using these wooden bicycles as a means of bringing families together with a woodworker who can teach and oversee them building their own bicycles during a time while the family goes “off grid” and with it has a chance to cut out the discord that our fractured world and the tech within it has generally afforded most families … and in doing so, not only would these families have a memorable experience, they would have a memento afterward of the time that they had spent together … and could do so again on bike outings in the future.

See, that’s my vision! So, what’s the goal? Well, that will come in due course.

For now, after an incredibly long period of my soul’s drought, I have essentially found my wellspring … fresh water again flows!

A number of years ago on my original channel, I published my blog post “A Space Oddity.” SEE [HERE].

In doing so, I described the Audi Super Bowl 2016 Commercial which serves as tribute to David Bowie through it’s incorporated use of his song “Starman.”

This ad [RIGHT HERE], perfectly identified my mood at the time … I was spent and had no purpose!

My dream had been to go to work in China. And, I achieved this goal. I became International Sales & Legal Counsel for a huge real estate developer located in China’s most beautiful city – Hangzhou!

But my dream, while far from being a nightmare, WAS – like all jobs – NOT PERFECT!

So, now well over a decade and a half ago, when my contract came up, my Chairman and I both knew that renewal was just not going to happen.

My wife and kids returned to our stateside home of Seattle and we got our eldest enrolled in kindergarten, I foolishly sought to yet work in China. [And on another day, I might share some of the “Laverne and Shirley” chicanery that entailed.]

The fact of the matter was that I came back hope and I had no idea what to do for several months. And then, when I figured out that “hell, I have to do something!” … I opened up my own law firm.

Ladies and gentleman, that’s not something that is easy to do. What’s more, those who do this often will do so only so long as they need to until they find more suitable work.

Well, headstrong as I am … and not wanting to be under anyone’s thumb, I continued to stick it out.

Curious thing about entrepreneurship though, … when you no longer have “a” boss, every single person in your life is a boss.

  • First and foremost, All of your clients.
  • Of course, opposing counsel attempts to boss you around as much as they can.
  • Every once in a while when you actually get into court? The judge? Check!
  • Your vendors? Well hell, you don’t have any negotiating power. Yay or nay pal.
  • And then there is your family, hey your job is to produce!

And, when you are so incredibly clever as to pick one of the most emotionally hostile. And quite likely the most inane arenas of law – boundary dispute law – well, it just wasn’t pretty!

What kept me going for all of that time though? PURPOSE!

My purpose is to help people to come to peace with themselves and their neighbors.

Now that is a lot different than my vision though.

VISION, for me, was to democratize the law and promote peace by visually depicting the law.

Now, that’s heady stuff, and I am not going to go into the details of it here … unless you want me to? No, just kidding!

The fact of the matter is that my purpose and vision are what sustained me in my absolute hell.

And hell it was! I got to the point that I needed to go to 3 different church services on Sunday to raise my spirits enough to go back to the trenches on Monday mourn. (yeah, you got the pun!)

Finally, it became too much and one night I finally had enough and pulled my office apart and out of its tenancy and returned home … totally dejected!

What did this do?

Well, it helped me start to get out from under a purpose which was auguring me further and further into hell.

But, that just meant that I was without any purpose … complete and absolute nihilishm!

Folks, I do not recommend it. If suicidal ideation had been part of my life previously, it certainly was not gone now!

Mentor Bob Proctor identifies well (though without reference to biblical chapter and verse) the notion … ‘Without a Vision, the People will Perish!”

So, and here we must resurrect the spirt of Chris Farley’s Matt Foley …

“For the love of God …” get in touch with your Purpose and get clear on your Vision.

My friends, if you don’t have this … you are not being Wise!

Photo Credit: Molly Hashimoto [a Wise Owl] from “Winter Birds: A Holiday Card Assortment.” I just posted this one down to the Napoleon Hill Institute’s resident, rocket scientist Gary Glass.

He just started the Pacific Coast’s 5:30 AM Self-Confidence Boot Camp this morning. Ground control: “WE HAVE LIFT OFF!”

Contact me if you want to also be part of the “PAYLOAD!”


In the spirit of the two-headed Greek God of Janus for whom the month of January is named to allow reflection of past and future, I offer this note to memorialize the lessons learned over the 16-days straight course of running the …

Pacific Coast Interim 5:30 AM Boot Camp – Purpose, Vision, & Goal(s).  

First off, I want to thank both of you [Gary Glass & Cliona O’Hara] for allowing this opportunity as well as my cc’d co-host […] and the others who regularly showed up to meetings[.]

I’ve journaled my personal lessons learned as well as areas for my self-improvement and seek to offer them to you for what they may be worth. OK, so with that “throat clearing” here goes … 😊

LESSON 1: Be willing to accept help that is helpful.

COMMENT. Patricia [Fish] volunteered to assist immediately and so we did an organizational, practice run on Sunday, December 17. This proved to be invaluable! Patricia contributed a ton and helped me to realize a lot of logistical details which I had not even considered.  

LESSON 2: Have an Overarching Purpose and Daily Theme.

COMMENT. We knew we had until about January 2 until Gary was going to resume Pacific Coast Boot Camp leadership, so we geared our daily study around PURPOSE, VISION, GOAL, & HABIT FORMATION overall and had a Daily Theme associated with going through You-Squared.

LESSON 3: Consider the benefits of  “book-ending” the meeting with Physicality.

COMMENT. We started the meeting with Patricia’s Qigong to “Shake It Up & Wake It Up” and then closed out the meeting with a song in which we ‘Took an Chance on a Dance.’ This physicality seemed to get us going and then to also allow us to cement the ideas through action. And as to that action – dance – this gives people an opportunity to get just a bit beyond themselves doing something which they may feel is foolish, but doing anything at the beginning is something at which one will do some things a bit foolishly … that’s just part of the process!

LESSON 4: Allow plenty of time for Gratitude.

COMMENT. We placed this immediately after Cliona’s Meditation and I asked people to consider as the PROMPT: “I am a loving soul who is grateful for … because … .” This prompt allows “The Great I AM” as well as an idea of identifying “Positive Causality.”

LESSON 5: Consider the benefits of Involving Others.

COMMENT. I invited people to read the Self-Confidence and Self-Discipline Formula with people switching between “odds” and “evens” and all but one person declined this opportunity.

LESSON 6: Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them … and then explain what you told them.

COMMENT. I read the “red bracket” each day of that day’s “You-Squared”, read the Chapter, and then came back and concluded with the “red bracket” … and then reviewed the highlights of that chapter. This gave me an opportunity to offer others – and myself – the insights that came to me from the reading.

LESSON 7: Allow the benefits of Serendipity.

COMMENT. I introduced a “Sound Bath” during the period in which we wrote up the “Purpose, Vision, Goal(s), & Habit(s) [and Task(s).” This was something that showed up early on right after Cliona’s Meditation and instead of dismissing it out of hand, I took a look and Patricia also explained what this was all about and its benefits. This became perhaps the most enjoyable and productive part of each Boot Camp. For more, see … .

LESSON 8: Figure out how to incorporate Patricia’s Boot Camp Protocol Reel.

COMMENT: Patricia has put together a STELLAR BOOT CAMP PROTOCOL REEL. I didn’t take the time to figure out how to (separate) images and sound at the same time. In the future, I would want to run this during the [Purpose, Vision] Goals, Habits & Task portion. Then if people have a moment to look up, they might see something which serendipitously would prompt continued writing allowing more of a syncing of both their written piece and the protocol into their emotional mind.

PERSONAL IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITY (“PIO”) 1: Don’t take it personally when people jump in and out of the call.

COMMENT. This didn’t happen too often, but it was something that I observed would generate some frustration in myself. Particularly frustrating was when the person with whom I had recently volunteered to be an accountability partner with indicated that she would instead watch past boot camp videos. That was game over for me; I just cut her out without a word!

Reflecting: I should have attempted to schedule a talk to express my feelings about it. If I had, I may have been able to demonstrate the benefit of live boot camps vis-à-vis their accountability … and with it retained her accountability to my own necessary project which I admittedly allowed to slip. This is now in the past and I don’t care to directly broach the subject, but it is something to note going forward.

PIO 2: Create a tighter master vision of how this was all to come together and communicate this more effectively.

COMMENT. I learned a ton going through this project and as I mentioned much of that came from the assistance of Patricia. If I had to do this over again – knowing that I would get the affirmative nod – I would have sought to clearly flesh out my vision of how to run the boot camp and then communicated that to Gary. Instead – in line with a deep-set paradigm in which I am accustomed to receiving a “NO” from those (primarily my parents and spouse) that seek to exert authoritarian influence, upon the slightest indication that Gary was willing to allow the opportunity, I ran with it and failed to secure as much of the incredibly valuable input which he may have been willing to offer if I had simply had the temerity to ask.

PIO 3: Create a slide deck for the presentation’s non-negotiables and have only the daily variables up and ready outside of that slide deck for use.

COMMENT. There is an optimum between rigidity and flexibility, to generate the closest thing to perfection I will want to generate systems which allow the benefit of both.  Idea: Seek to “democratize” the understanding of the Santa Fe Institute’s practical findings in the area of COMPLEXITY THEORY.

PIO 4: Be mindful of the time.

COMMENT: One of Gary’s most enviable qualities is his ability to run the boot camp within the time parameters. This didn’t happen immediately, but once he dialed it in … IT WAS “DIALED IN” … PROFESSIONAL!!! This is something that I really admire about your presentation Gary!


[PIO 5: Never be shy to provide great affirmations.]

COMMENT: During the middle of the run, I decided went back and listened one of Cliona’s Boot Camps. In this particular one which she conducted for the Eastern US on the Winter Solstice 2023, she had an incredible set of affirmations. I wrote most of them down and would sprinkle them in at the end of our Purpose, Vision, Goal, & Habit Sound Bath. A lot of folks really liked this!

Ok, so what’s with the picture? Well, I found that on the way to the gym immediately after victoriously concluding this final Interim Boot Camp. It reminded me of a time coming across a black Ferrari after a big court victory in June 2017 … and I don’t think that this is just a coincidence!!!