Recently, it came to my attention that I was not posting on social media enough. I thought I was, but I guess I forgot to tell you what I’m doing.
I’m living my life.
If you watch my Facebook stories, or IG account, I’m demonstrating what I teach. I’m riding my horse, riding my motorcycle, planting flowers, going on hikes, and sitting by hidden lakes in the forest for hours on a Sunday morning. I’m coaching athletes and everyday people in the gym. I’m spending quality time with the ones I care about.
But, this is seen as me being “inactive” by the self defense training community. I guess unless you are beating your chest with a Glock in your hand, or posting yet another B8 target, you are not “active”.
Granted, I am less active on social media than other instructors in the field. One reason is that I think social media is a net negative as used by the masses; a drain on valuable time that could be used for productivity and quality of life.
Another reason is because I have a particular mission to not let violence rule my life anymore, whether real or imagined (training). It literally was the concluding point of my first book, and has remained a central point of my teaching for many years now:
don’t forget to live the life you are supposedly so worried about protecting.
Living a strong, safe life full of quality experiences is the goal. At least it is for me. Some of you say that is your goal, but your true goal is more closely related to things like: maintaining a “cool guy” status in the training community; showing people on social media how smart you are, or how good of a shooter you are, every day; proving how much you can lift over and over, and so on.
I say it’s your more prominent goal because that is how you present yourself. You are one dimensional in your brand.
Now, I’m not passing judgement, just pointing out the perception you put out. You can live your life however you want to, I could care less.
But for me, I want to avoid presenting a one dimensional persona. If you can’t pick up on the nuances of a person very experienced in violence just living a serene or enjoyable life without talking about said violence every day, then you are missing the point.
For example, I planted flowers last month. It was a truly meditative practice, digging with my bare hands in the soil, carefully moving each flower so as to not disturb their roots. Not to mention the joy the flowers bring into my environment.
If you mistake the gardener for always having been a gardener, you will never expect the warrior that most certainly is there. This is important because it is true not only for the “good guy” but for the bad guy as well.
They exist in the same way, and quietly live their lives waiting for the next moment to strike. Hiding amongst us, just living their lives.
Most of all, by not recognizing this you miss the opportunity to live a full life yourself.
And while I have capabilities, and vivid memories, of doing extreme violence to other human beings, I don’t need to focus on those capabilities in my days. It’s always there, waiting for when it is appropriate and needed to save lives.
Until then, I will make living my life the priority, and the prime example I leave for others. Not pushing other forms of elite tribalism by showing how sophisticated I am with fancy clothing, my knowledge of cocktails and whiskey, or any other superficial trappings. Just constantly working to improve myself as human being and in how I treat others, able to contribute to the good of the world while remaining as humble as possible about it.
I know I am not perfect and never claimed to be. But making my stated goals and my actions match is a constant effort of mine. Living your life, seeking quality time above all else, and constantly working on self-improvement in areas outside of violence and physical prowess are the more important endeavors we have in this short time on earth.
When I lay dying some day, as will inevitably happen to us all, I will yearn for those memories of the most meaningful and beautiful moments of my life, to warm my heart as the light of life fades. I want as many of them as I can gather in this lifetime. To die without regret. That is truly the warrior’s way.