Tag Archives: commitment

life work

life work

Income, jobs, self-expression, entrepreneurship, the economy (or what of it is available to people like you and me), creeping expenses, the shimmering mirage of globalization, debt, health care expenses, and familial obligation have been on my mind a lot lately.

I suspect it’s been on a lot of minds.

music:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZI76J1UDKw

 

I’ve been out of work for longer than I’d like to admit.  I did qualify for a disability check from the US government with the dual diagnosis of motor stroke and advanced heart disease that required surgery for a new valve, generated atrial fibrillation, and got me one of them pacemaker-defibrillators tucked under my left clavicle.

Thanks to an irreplaceable battery of doctors, nurses and their support staff, I am alive, ambulatory, of sound mind, upright, capable of thought and keyboard output.  But I have been told I’ll never work again. And the disability check rolled right over into Medicare retirement.

How do YOU define work? The production of what pays how much these days?, and what will your bosses say about how hard you have to work and how well you will be paid for that? A lot of people have those questions and problems.

I had an e-mail exchange the other day with someone in a particular peculiar predicament; I’ll not share the details (you go ahead and fill in your own details), but what I told him was that the simple investment of something like $150-500 and about five hours time might help him figure out the answer to his conundrum in a way that would set him on a positive and functional course for the next two decades.  In this economy, it’s hard to think about work for two decades, especially if — like him — you have turned the corner and are well into the prime of your life. Or perhaps your particular peculiar predicament doen’t allow you to find $150-500.

Now you could ask, and with good reason, why I thought I had something of value to offer this particular fellow, and the answer is pretty simple. The more complex answer is to look back into this idea of work and life and see what falls out.

As you might have noticed, I have a library full of books that I not only have read but understand.  I recommend many of these books to a lot of people.  You really havde to go and read and discover a lot of this for yourself, and why not? It’s your life.

You really don’t want to be beholden to some distant fellow who is going to tell you what to do, or keep you on a short leash so he and his upstream buddies can harness you to the plow, do you? I told him that he could take me over the local bistro at happy hour and buy me a large plateful of oysters and two two-finger glasses of  single malt while I told him about the time just after I’d fashioned a very successful and very functional 18-hour long-range planning retrerat for my employing organization and the incoming President came in and threw it (and me) out the door.

Or I could tell him about the time when the incoming President of the organization I had kept afloat despite the inepitude of my predecessors and the Board’s own rigidity cancelled my vacation and told me that my “administrative shortcomings” were sufficient to put my job in severe jeopardy.

Or I could tell him about the time when, having taken over for a fellow who had been summarily fired, the Board told me to manufacture the accounting evidence that would cover the apparent embezzlement by he and several of the elected officers.

In the first case, I found myself a new job (I re-invented myself); in the second case, I told the Veep that she had 48 hours to re-instate what was due me or I was going to walk out the door at the very moment when their entire programmatic year was hanging in the balance. Six weeks later, we had a mutual parting of the ways.  In the third case, I informed the Board that the penalty for me to do what they asked was a $10,000 fine and/or some serious jail time, neither of which I would risk for them. They gave me a parting gift of a few grand which did not last as long as I needed it to last. No matter; I am still alive and breathing.

In those instances I had found myself in a peculiar predicament, as I did in yet another case in which I mastered the computer with sufficient understanding that I was able to program it (and me) with a set of templates that allowed me to double and triple my output.  I was paid for the production of typed reports and records at the rate of a dime a line and, having discovered what I had discovered and implemented it effectively, I went to my boss (and her boss) to try to explain that they could stop out-sourcing and bring the work back inside and keep a lot of people (including the “customer”) much happier because the turn-around period was cut in half, and they did not have to pay premium rates for the output.  But despite the fact that, while I listened to the dictation of people with thick foreign accents I simultaneously listened to jazz, and despite the fact that I was regularly interrupted to interpret the complex terms for other typists, my income soared beyond that of the department head, and when she discovered that, I was history.

This was similar to another employment pecadillo when, as the department rep at an inter-departmental meaning to look at how expenses could be cut, I showed them a way to save over $100,00 a year which, when she found out, made my department head livid because I’d apparently showed her up by not having brought my idea to her so she could take the credit. Later, for that same employer, I was placed back on probation for the exact same act that her bosses’ bosses boss gave me a $500 bonus.

So when, in the final instance, I threw in the towel in exasperation, I became intrigued with the field of performance psychology, and I ended up doing a lot of reading about methods of self-improvement.  All this experience with employment (or the lack of it) brought me to the books Zen and the Art of Making a Living.  I began to become interested in coaching. While I had done my share of youth sports coaching, I discovered the fields of executive coaching and life coaching and even considered becoming one.

And there’s the rub, the word life. It’s not because I considered being a life coach that I think I am one.  I am not. I never did the schooling. I never got certified.  I never hung out my shingle. I decided it was not what I wanted to do with my life.  But I did enough work that I have several practice resources and fieldbooks, a library full of related material, and a solid understanding of what a life coach is and what one can do for you. I even wrote about an oustanding exemplar in the field right here in this blog, as well as an oustanding executive coach.

A life coach can help you see clearly where your life is right now, create a vision for where you want your life to go, and make a plan to get you to your destination. When your coach has a good understanding of what you want, they will help you, guide you, and facilitate the process of achieving your goals and dreams. They will collaborate with you and provide the support you need…. A life coach will not tell you what to do with your life. Their job is to facilitate your goals, not push their ideas on you. ”

Lots more here:

https://www.your24hcoach.com/blog/what-is-online-life-coaching-and-does-it-work 

http://www.lifecoachspotter.com/how-to-find-life-coach-guide/ 

http://www.findacoach.com 

http://www.findacoach.com/rightcoach includes business and corporate/organizational coaching

Now, as I said, I appreciate that you the reader may not have the cash to hire yourself a life coach. Look into it briefly anyway so you know what it’s all about and how, especially if you do some work on your own, you can reduce the expense you have to pay out of your pocket.

If you’re here. we know you can read.

If you haven’t gotten there yet, start with the book I compiled when I was out of work.  I thought I was doing it for my kids, but I was really doing it for myself. I was, as a high school friend of mine from waaay back put it, “re-parenting” myself.

Yes, of course… If you want to be a good parent, you have to make sure you got the lessons done first.

That book is right here inside the blog, the chapters are in pdf format, there’s an expanded or annotated table of contents so you can simply figure out where to start, what to skip, and even if you need it at all.

Even exemplars need coaches.  You can’t see yourself as clearly as someone else can.

Life coaches are not shrinks.  There’s nothing wrong with you that you can’t fix. So sit down and have a conversation with a trained professional about where you are, where you are stuck, what you want, etc.

Find some books.  The bibliography of “Summon The Magic” offers you a number of places to start. Go to the library.  If you like the book, buy a used copy. If you have a pretty good idea of where you are headed, find How To Do, Be or Have Anything by Laurence Boldt.

Or get Steve Chandler’s Reinventing Yourself: How To Become the Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be.

If you’re confused about the relationship between earning a livelihood and thriving in your family and community, get Matthew Fox’s The Reinvention of Work: A New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time.

If, after you’ve put your toes into the water, you can’t find a life coach you’re eager to work with, or you simply can’t afford to get involved in his or her fee schedule, go back to the book search process and find a copy of Coach U’s Essential Coaching Tools. It’s a pricey reference book loaded with tools to assess your situation; it’s what the pros use when they get started. But there’s one out there right now for under $50.

You do care about the quality and meaning of your life enough to invest $50, don’t you?

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http://www.livelihoodshow.com 

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https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/08/01/bruce-lee-on-performance-psychology-elements-willpower-emotion-imagination-confidence 

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The Science of How Our Minds and Our Bodies Converge in the Healing of Trauma

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/06/20/the-body-keeps-the-score 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhe_o4AaN_A

 

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/58/0a/be/580abeec694717753a181514e7f2f39c.jpg 

“… Nurses agree that GOOD care is good care no matter whose hands deliver it. Aseptic technique doesn’t necessarily improve with additional initials behind a nurse’s name, and a nurse doesn’t get faster at psychomotor skills because she went back to school. In fact, she may be a little slower getting those electrodes and defibrillator pads attached because of age!!

Nurses agree that GOOD care is good care no matter whose hands deliver it. Aseptic technique doesn’t necessarily improve with additional initials behind a nurse’s name, and a nurse doesn’t get faster at psychomotor skills because she went back to school. In fact, she may be a little slower getting those electrodes and defibrillator pads attached because of age!!…”

Diane Goodman, in a thread at MedScape

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http://hugyournurse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/great-nurses.jpg

http://hugyournurse.com/what-makes-a-nurse-a-great-nurse/ 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bRb-HzPKBA 

Long-Distance Runaround

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The Third Self: Mary Oliver on Time, Concentration, the Artist’s Task, and the Central Commitment of the Creative Life

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/12/mary-oliver-upstream-creativity-power-time/ 

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music courtesy of

http://thebadplus.com 

realization

realization

I recently bought a brand-spanking-new digital SLR, an EOS Rebel T5i with both the EF-S 18-55mm and the EF 75-300 mm lenses, from one of those big houses in NYC.  I got a steal of a deal, along with a standard beginner’s filter pack, and the usual. Canon was bringing out a new product and there was some shelf-clearing going on. 

So that’s not my image of the footsteps in the sand dune…

While I was waiting for my new Canon to arrive, I found my way to YouTube and built a file of dozens of hours of YouTube instructional videos from multiple sources plus the portals to over ten YouTube channels on tips and techniques for basic, travel, pro and business-oriented material. 

It’s tucked away in a file I call the Canon canon.

I’ve unboxed the camera, registered it, insured it, charged the battery, and started to learn all its bells and whistles as well as view some of those videos as a good refresher. 

I have a lot of learning to do.

photography

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The Art of Travel Photography (Lorne Resnick)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En0DIfiu6TA

[An outstanding 47-minute video lecture on the art of emotion in photography, sales, and more by a nationally-recognized pro in the field]

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lomography/the-lomography-daguerreotype-achromat-29-64-art-lens 

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https://mediapsychology101.com/2016/04/09/what-is-a-picture-really-worth-logos-in-advertising/ 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJPgshLhQBw 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUL6MBVKVLILongsjo1Two

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“… complete awareness of the body and mind in relation to the goal is known as zanshin.

Zanshin is a word used commonly throughout Japanese martial arts to refer to a state of relaxed alertness. Literally translated, zanshin means “the mind with no remainder.” In other words, the mind completely focused on action and fixated on the task at hand. Zanshin is being constantly aware of your body, mind, and surroundings without stressing yourself. It is an effortless vigilance.

In practice, though, zanshin has an even deeper meaning.

Zanshin is choosing to live your life intentionally and acting with purpose rather than mindlessly falling victim to whatever comes your way…..”

http://www.lifehack.org/383170/zanshin-learning-the-art-attention-and-focus-from-legendary-samurai-archer 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpbGNCmMrEs 

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The Network Effect, Jobs and Entrepreneurial Vitality

Posted on April 7, 2016 by Charles Hugh Smith

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/04/network-effect-jobs-entrepreneurial-vitality.html#more-55118 

“… All the incubator projects around the world are attempting to kickstart an entrepreneurial Network Effect…..”

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A link that showed up in my blog comments:

https://projectbreakthrough.com/ 

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“… The dangers that society will face in the years ahead are regrettable, but there’s no point in allowing anxiety, frustration, or apathy to overcome you. 

Face the future with courage, curiosity, and optimism rather than fear. You can be a winner, and if you plan carefully, you will be. 

The great period of change will give you a chance to regain control of your destiny. And that in itself is the single most important thing in life…..”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-08/greater-depression-has-started-comparing-1930s-to-today 

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“… Look around you. But don’t force your definition on what’s there.

Don’t anticipate what you will find.

It will find you….”

 

Richard Rappaport, in “Carnegie Tech, Robert Lepper and the Oakland Project”, 1989, about a 2-year course, “Individual and Social Analysis”, focusing on community and personal memory as factors in artistic expression

magic alphabet untwisted

Now that we’ve gotten the magic alphabet untwisted, we can move on.

The e-book entitled “Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind….” now sits poised to move into the 12th chapter “On Mentors, Coaches and Warriors”, and then the 13th chapter “On Teams”.

 

Tab L (Mentors, Coaches & Warriors)  

 

  • This chapter focuses on what may be, for some of you, your first board meeting as the new CEO.
  • If you’ve had difficulty asking for help, it will provide some simple tools that will help you.
  • It will teach you how to look for your teacher, or mentor, and how to determine which ones are the right ones.
  • It will teach you how to create a functional and effective circle of supportive people.
  • It will dissect and analyze what goes on in coaching, and you’ll be able to see that from the perspectives of the coachee or client (you) and the coach or mentor.

“Information embedded in an emotional context seems to stimulate neural circuitry more powerfully than information presented neutrally. A smile, good eye contact, touch, and the rhythm, tone, pacing, melody and vibration of voice…, all play a role in effective instruction.” 

 

  • Using an athletic model, Page 21 breaks down and charts graphically the process of assessment.
  • There’s a discusion of feedback loops within the coaching interaction.
  • Speech, voice and communications skills in coaching are discused.
  • The coachee’s responses are broken down into four categories.
  • The role of confrontation and criticism are reviewed.
  • One of the things that this chapter will do is to introduce you to such books as How To Be, Do, or Have Anything: A Practical Guide to Creative Empowerment.
  • And the chapter acts as a springboard as the overall look at excellence moves from a focus on the individual to a focus on the team, or organization, or larger grouping.

 

The Coach is also a  (13 other roles)

 

The 13th chapter, then, is “On Teams”.

Tab M (On Teams)

“In a rapidly-changing environment, the strengths of many individuals must be combined into a cohesive and synchronized effort.

  • The idea of shared experiential goals is discussed, as well as team leadership and the roles of communications, learning and mindfulness.
  • The dynamics or changes in the team and their relationship to team development are discussed.

 

“The rate at which a team learns may become it’s only sustainable advantage.”

  • There is an overview of the Tuckman model of “forming, storming, norming, and performing”.

Tuckman Model

https://danielseet.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/edisons-project-team-development-curve.jpg

  • I added my own text and graphic expression of team chemistry, upgraded here:

Team Chemistry pdf copy

  • There is an introduction to the concept of organizational learning.
  • There are five questions on page 15 you ought to ask yourself (and your team) right now.
  • There is material on team spirit, team dynamics, team cohesion, team bonding, and team harmony.
  • There’s a section on the role of non-verbal communication in team interaction, and another on team exercises in concentration and movement.
  • There’s two pages (27 and 28) on the development of a shared vision.
  • There is an 18-point plan for empowering your team.

 

“If people don’t have their own vision, all they can do is “sign up” for someone else’s. The result is compliance, never commitment.”

 

I like the section on page 31 about getting individuals on a team to express a quality about the thing that you need to work on. This moves toward team learning and team alignment.

 

There’s a lot more.  Have fun.

Repost: “Moral Code For Post-Collapse World”

A Moral Code For The Post-Collapse World

by Brandon Smith

Originally posted at http://www.alt-market.com 

Popular media today, including television and cinema, are rife with examples of what is often referred to as moral relativism — the use of false and fictional moral dilemmas designed to promote the rationalization of an “ends justify the means” narrative. We are also bombarded lately with entertainment depicting an endless array of “anti-heroes,” protagonists who have little to no moral code fighting antagonists who are even more evil, thus vindicating the otherwise disgusting actions of the heroes. From “24” to “Breaking Bad” to “The Walking Dead,” American minds are being saturated with propaganda selling the idea that crisis situations require a survivor to abandon conscience. In other words, in order to defeat monsters, you must become a monster. [The Dick Cheney theme theme song, echoing out of Operation Paperclip and the bankers of war]

This theme is not only unavoidable in film and TV, but also in military journals, politics, and even within liberty movement discussion.

What I see developing is an extremely dangerous philosophy that rests on the foundation that victory (or survival) is the paramount virtue and that it should be attained at any cost. Moral compass becomes a “luxury” that “true” apex survivors cannot afford, an obstacle that could eventually get one killed. I have heard some survivalists and liberty proponents in anger over the trespasses of the corrupt establishment suggest a strict adherence to the eye-for-an-eye ideology, up to and including torture, harming of the enemy’s families, and even harming the children of those who would harm us.

There is also a small but ingrained subculture within spheres of survivalism that embraces the strategy of the “prepper pirate,” essentially planning their subsistence around the idea of taking what they need from others as a form of evolutionary realism. They believe that the “survival of the fittest” is more important than the survival of the principled. [The Darwinian Anglo-Zionist eugenics exceptionalism of the day.]

In mainstream yuppie culture, this attitude would be labeled insane. Yet urban and suburban television addicts often cheer the concept of the ends justifying the means in their favorite prime time shows and consistently argue for morality stretching policies within government (as long as their “team” is in control of the football in Washington, D.C.). I have little doubt they would adopt such thinking in the event that disaster does strike and they find themselves unprepared amid desperate conditions.

In “Understanding The Fear Of Self-Defense And Revolution,” I discussed the inevitability of self-defense against criminal oligarchy and why common methods of pacifist activism are dangerously inadequate in the face of psychopathic tyranny. When self-defense or revolution is initiated, though, the movement does not necessarily fight only for its own benefit; nor does it fight simply to eliminate the threat. Our survival as individuals is not the primary concern; the survival of the principles and truths that drive us to fight is the ultimate goal. If there is such a thing as the “greater good,” truth and honor must be the apex of that vision.

If we cast aside our principles in the name of victory, then, ironically, we have still lost everything. Our war is fought on multiple levels, from the physical to the spiritual. Lose the spiritual war, lose sight of one’s conscience, and the physical war becomes meaningless.

I believe the formation of a liberty movement code, a kind of warrior’s code, is absolutely vital to our future. Without a new kind of oath, an oath not only to the Constitution but to our own internal values, the temptation to use our darker natures against the enemy during greater trials of the soul may be too much to bear. While conscience is an inborn gift, it sometimes requires a more outward affirmation in order to remain strong. Here are some elements I believe should make up the foundation of our code.

Defense Of The Innocent

We will do everything within our power whenever possible to ensure the safety and liberty of those people around us caught in the currents of collapse. Some might claim that the unprepared are not “innocent” because their lack of vigilance contributes to the decay of our society. I would say that while the ignorant are a danger to us and themselves, we would also be contributing to the decay of our society by refusing to help others when we have the ability to do so. Someone somewhere has to end the cycle. And if that requires us to sacrifice some of our energy and the satisfaction of saying “we told you so,” then this is what we must do.

I would also point out that the defense of the innocent does not begin when our economic and social structures end. We help them now, by offering them the knowledge to prepare and organize for mutual aid. We go to our town centers, to local churches, to our lecture halls; and we openly educate those who are willing to listen — not to preach politics or to indoctrinate, but to offer practical knowledge. We give them useful tools through neighborhood watch programs and Community Preparedness Teams. We teach them today how to defend themselves, their families and their property and how to invest in survival, so that tomorrow they will not feel compelled to become part of the problem, but part of the solution.

If we let our distaste for the unaware lead us into an attitude of “us versus them” against our own neighbors, then we will miss every chance to strengthen our communities. Our purpose is to bring others up, not to stand in pious judgment as they fall down.

We Prepare To Offer Aid, Even To Those We Think Might Not Deserve It

Many survivalists and preppers may scoff at this idea, but they would not be looking at the bigger picture. Offering aid to your community serves not only to help them, but to help you in the long run. Look at it this way; when FEMA arrives in a disaster-struck city or county, its “authority” means little to the shell-shocked citizenry. What does matter to them is that FEMA brings food, water and sometimes shelter. FEMA does this in its own sweet time and often allows numerous people to die before the aid is given, but it still maintains its authority over a region simply because [when] there is no other alternative.

You must offer that alternative.

Imagine what would have happened if during the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina, while FEMA was lounging around watching the carnage and even denying access to private institutions offering supplies, New Orleans residents were greeted with liberty movement teams defying government mandate? What if liberty advocates from across Louisiana and the nation had marched right over the top of FEMA, escorted those trapped in the Superdome to a safe place, and gave them food and water? The movement raised millions of dollars for Ron Paul’s campaign (twice!), why couldn’t we do the same to save lives?

Imagine if we were to prove that FEMA is an unnecessary and frivolous organization ready for the dustbin? [ ] Imagine if we were to prove that communities can provide their own security and aid without the state, as Oath Keepers did in Ferguson, Missouri?

Even at a local level, this methodology could mean the difference between freedom and tyranny. Stockpiles of grain bought directly from independent farms can be had for very little money and strategically placed for use in future calamities. Affordable water filtration could prevent disease and dehydration for thousands. A team of engineers could solve waste and grid-down dilemmas. A team of well-trained security personnel could prevent looting, rape and murder. Imagine if the catastrophe the elites wish to engineer was mitigated or thwarted by the very people the disaster was meant to target? Imagine how much satisfaction that would give you.

Our Actions Are Inspired By Conscience, Not Rage

To fight in self-defense is entirely moral, but there are lines that, if crossed, destroy our moral high ground. Without the moral high ground, we become no better than the elites we seek to remove from our lives. This means that we do not harm people unless they are attempting to harm us. We punish criminals, not their families and not their children. We do not torture, not only because it is a useless tactic with little concrete proof of effectiveness, but because it is a morally reprehensible psychopathic act designed to fulfill a sick desire for sadistic power. It is not who we are.

When we fight, we fight in the knowledge that we have first and foremost protected our moral foundation. We see those who promote moral ambiguity and moral relativism as an element destructive to the purpose of liberty. Winning means nothing and survival means nothing, unless we endeavor to deserve life.

We Do Not Run Unless We Plan To Return

In an asymmetric revolution, there is rarely such a thing as a “front line” or a piece of ground that must be defended at all costs. That said, successful asymmetric warfare requires that the enemy pay an overwhelming price for every attack he initiates. This means that said revolt must always be aggressive, never relenting, always striking, and resting or retreating only to stage a more effective counter. Every time a totalitarian system advances without consequence, it generates political, social, psychological and tactical momentum. Without the courage to engage such advances, revolt is impossible. Fear leads to moral rationalizations. The fearful cannot adequately defend themselves, let alone defend others; and, once again, the moral high ground is lost.

Zero Tolerance For Piracy And Criminality Within

Prepper pirates and others on the very fringes of the survival movement who seek to thrive at the expense of others are not only criminal according to natural law, but they are also a blight on the reputation of the liberty movement itself. Our principles will require us to stamp out such people as a priority. Those who would viciously impose upon the innocent as a preplanned strategy are not redeemable. Even if they claim to hate the same elites we fight against, the enemy of our enemy is not necessarily our friend. Prepper pirates are rabid dogs who should be put down.

We Are Professionals, And Guardians Never Satisfied With Half Measures

We carry ourselves as quiet professionals. We strive to represent the best potential of what the liberty movement has to offer. There is no problem we cannot solve and no opponent too large. We do not know the meaning of the word “impossible.” We operate best under pressure and during disaster. We move to disrupt crisis before it begins when possible, and we refuse to stand back as spectators when crisis does develop. We work diligently to master all knowledge and training that could be used to achieve our goal, which is a free, prosperous and independent citizenry. We do not seek leadership over others; we only wish to teach others how to lead themselves. We will not stop until this goal is accomplished or until we are no longer breathing. We are not mutable or flexible where tyranny is concerned. We are entirely uncompromising. We are stubborn bastards, here to drive oligarchs even crazier than they already are. We are here to undo them and their treacherous world. And in this mission, we find ultimate comfort and peace.

 

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/2513-a-moral-code-for-the-post-collapse-world 

 

 

One’s true capacity for moving,

or being moved, can be achieved

only when one’s commitment to others

is in fact connected to and derived from

his primary commitment to himself. 

When we find this kind of alignment of purpose,

there is a harmony of motivation

that can provide the fuel and clarity

to overcome great obstacles

in the pursuit of great challenge.

 

 

from The Inner Game of Work, by W. Timothy Gallwey

 

 

 

http://www.iaem.com/documents/SimsandVCOPs1.pdf