In a critical scene in the movie Rocky, the original, the club fighter looks in the mirror and realizes that he’s been kidding himself: he doesn’t stand a chance against the all-time greatest champion, Apollo Creed. Girlfriend Adrienne asks him what they’re going to do. Rocky says something that changes the entire film, transforms it into greatness.

All his life, he’s never been anything. No one has ever gone the distance with Creed. Rocky may not be good…but he’s tough. And believes that if he cannot BEAT Creed, it is just possible that he CAN “go the distance.” …

I had a friend who was horrified to see two guys fighting in the street. She BROKE THEIR PATTERN by sticking her fingers down her throat and vomiting at their feet. Bingo. Total change in their focus, and a re-set on their behavior. Ended THAT fight!


Ok. So we’ve established true rapport and understanding (#1), and found the ways they motivate themselves to take or change actions (#3). Now we need the third step, which is considered one of the top three. You have to STOP a car before you can put it in reverse. …

(We’re exploring the Robbins-Madanes approach to changing behaviors and gaining influence. Good stuff!)

The first step to gaining influence/changing behavior was to UNDERSTAND them. To have empathy rather than looking down at them. I generally imagine that people can read minds, and that if I’m lying, they’ll know. So if you’re trying to change someone’s mind, or get them to do something, and you are thinking “chump” “idiot” or “sucker” I don’t believe you can get the same results as someone who treats others with courtesy, love, and respect. Another reason to respect the Three Gates, I’d reckon.

Once you…

The question arose about “Influence”, one of the “High Performance Six.” I like Brendon Burchard’s stuff in general, but it’s most important to me because a specific circle of my associations agrees with it, likes him. This gives me a verbal/emotional short hand in speaking with them.

But the question seemed to be: “how does one develop influence”? Boy howdy, THERE’S a good question. If you don’t have influence you cannot get cooperation from others, build teams, find love, sell or market. It will leave you on the outside looking in even if you have great skill. “Its not FAIR…

The smartest piece of advice I ever heard was second-hand from a grandmother. A woman I knew was getting her kids off to school, totally exhausted. The next-door neighbor, a grandmother, was watching her. When the kids all headed off, the mother shook her head and sighed “parenting is HARD.”

The older woman smiled. “Parenting isn’t hard,” she said. “Its just DAILY.”

That’s it. You have to be there, take the heat, hold the hands, dry the tears. Love them so hard their emotional gas tanks are full for a lifetime of struggle.


Jason returns from camp today, and…

Some time ago, I created a list of steps for creating strong, moral, awake aware human beings. I varied in the description of the intent, but that was the focus. The steps were:

  1. Love one other person
  2. Understand history without guilt, blame, or shame.
  3. Avoid trolls. Support your tribe.
  4. Win with integrity.

A challenge I’ve taken on has…

In fitness/health, relationships, and career there are people who take responsibility for their actions and emotions, and those who do not. “Responsibility” is “the ability to respond,” not guilt, blame, or shame.

I think the human race bifurcates at that point. The road splits. On one side are those who take responsibility, down the other are people who believe that they cannot change behaviors until the world changes, or there are “no good men/women” or that success is merely an accident.

And here is a critical truth: outside circumstances will affect the average member of a given group, can “drop…

“Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Useful?” — Rumi

When I meet exceptional people, I remember that the primary difference, the primary “genius” is focusing on the RIGHT problem until you’ve solved it. So…what was the core “seed”? What motivated their actions for the decades necessary to become a Master?

With Danny Inosanto, a candidate for “greatest martial arts instructor who ever lived”, that “seed” was a phrase that flashed through his mind in childhood related to a supposedly unconquerable bully: “he bleeds too!” …

“How much do you know about fear?” “All there is.” — SKYFALL


“Before you can put any portion of this philosophy into successful use, your mind must be prepared to receive it. The preparation is not difficult. It begins with study, analysis, and understanding of three enemies which you shall have to clear out. These are indecision, doubt, and fear!” — Think And Grow Rich


It is critical to remember that Think And Grow Rich was written at the tail end of the Great Depression, and was SPECIFICALLY designed to help lift up shattered people. It was not…

“Through the aid of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in time to avoid them, and notified of opportunities in time to embrace them.” — Think And Grow Rich

This book on making money has suddenly taken a turn into serious woo-woo territory, if one has a strictly “practical” view of the world. …

Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts.

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