Revisitations (Podcast)

We should periodically “revisit” things that once meant something to us years earlier. Every 7 to 10 years or so, we grow significantly in outlook, perspective, and attitude. Things that once meant something to us, may mean something very different to us years later. This holds true of books, movies, individuals, and many other things. To measure how far you’ve progressed, revisit old things, and see how much you’ve changed. I discuss two movies, and how my view of them has changed in the intervening decades.

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You Declare Yourself (Podcast)

Some guys think that they need to wait for some magical confluence of circumstances to exist before they can pursue their goals. The world doesn’t work like this. Sometimes you have to announce yourself, declare your purpose openly, and let your will shape the environment to your own purposes. You have to declare yourself. You’re never going to receive anyone’s permission to succeed. We use the example of Gen. Charles De Gaulle in 1940.

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Not As Bad As You Think, But Different From What You Think (Podcast)

Our minds often play tricks on us. We come to believe things are much worse than they really are. Once we get through what we’re worried about, we realize that things were not as bad as we thought–and we also realize that things ended in a way that was different from what we expected.

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“You’re Supposed To Do Something About It” (Podcast)

At the end of the movie “The Maltese Falcon,” Sam Spade explains his personal code to Mary Astor. He tells her, “When your partner is killed, you’re supposed to do something about it. It doesn’t matter what you thought of him. You’re supposed to do something about it…” But there is a larger lesson here. When problems exist, you have to do something. You have to take action to fight the problems. Running away to live a life of narcissism and selfishness is not what men do.

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Do Not Accept Half-Confidences! (Podcast)

One of John Paul Jones’s leadership principles was this: don’t accept “half-confidences” from people. This was discussed in the essay on his leadership principles. This means that if you are in charge, you have a right to expect people to give you a reasonable chance at doing the job. If you are being constantly questioned, undermined, micromanaged, and doubted, then your superiors or your people are not giving you their full confidence. You need to take steps to assert your control.

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You Have Agency (Podcast)

There are some who see themselves as twigs spinning endlessly in mighty rivers, or as tufts of grass being blown around by the winds. There are also some who see ambiguity in everything, and refuse to draw meaningful conclusions about events right in front of their noses. This view is not only crippling to morale, it is also destructive, because it leaves you open to suggestion and manipulation by hostile forces. Those who refuse to take charge of their own destinies, and who allow themselves to be crippled by resentments, inevitably allow their fates to be shaped by others.

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You Don’t Know To A Certainty (Podcast)

Some guys look upon knowledge with a purely utilitarian view. They think that if something is not helping them that very instant, then it has no value. This view is shortsighted and terribly wrong. You never know what life has in store for you, and if you’re presented with an opportunity to learn, you take it and soak it up. We use a recent example to discuss this point further.

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Heaven And Hell Can Change Places Very Quickly (Podcast)

Most people never realize that good fortune can be suddenly and brutally replaced by bad fortune. What once seemed like heaven can quickly be transformed into a hell. The reverse is also true: a man can find himself in terrible straits, but can extricate himself through consistent efforts, and reach a kind of “heaven.”

This observation leads us to make five (5) important conclusions. We list and discuss them.

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