Counterinsurgency Series

Demilitarize our Nation, Part 2: Calming the Storm

You may have noticed in these last few posts, I have begun drifting away from the established Fitness theme of this blog and toward a leadership theme.

What are we if not leaders of our bodies, which I liken to a nation?

The real theme of this blog is to understand resistance, whether it is perceived resistance, psychological or physiological resistance. Regardless, we must overcome it.

Resistance Is Relative

Resistance we face in life, whether it is a loaded barbell or a financial emergency, is relative to our ability to overcome it. If we are prepared, the resistance feels lighter. If we have strong, conditioned muscles, we can lift the barbell with ease. If we have put away money for a rainy day, we can continue living off the fat.

Relative to the experiences Jesus would have in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon Calvary, the tempest which waylaid His disciples was a minor obstacle and well within His power as the God of this Earth to calm it, or make it lighter.

Admittedly, we cannot compare ourselves to Jesus in many ways. But how was it that Jesus developed His power on Earth to make burdens light for others?

I believe, It was through His overcoming resistance in the form of temptation.

8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan…

Matthew 4:8-10, KJV

Consequent to His temptations in the wilderness and conversing with His Father upon the mountain, Jesus was able to walk upon the waters and make difficult circumstances become less difficult. This is because He was prepared.


We have successfully won a war against the enemy within – that old tyrant. Furthermore, we have maintained control of our hard-won territory, even in the face of a great opposition, which was a counterinsurgency.

We have established relative Peace within our nations. However, we as humans seem to thrive in times of hardship.

A book I mentioned in a post last year, Sebastian Junger’s Tribe, presented a case that it is only in times of hardship or resistance that we as humans come together and cooperate in a unified resistance against something to overcome.

The Master rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. And His disciples feared exceedingly. (Mark 4:37-41, KJV)

So, although we have established Peace, I fear that without something to fight against, we may very well fight ourselves.

In fact, that is what is happening in our actual nation at this current time.

But do we not have something to fight against? Are there not important issues to resolve in our society? Yes, but they seem like the distant battlefields upon which we have no vested interest.

When we are embattled with ourselves, we are not free

We must become more connected. We must tell our stories and listen to others tell their own, and we must listen.

– Demilitarize our Nation

Calming the Storm is the first part of becoming more connected, and we have done that. Now, we must tell our stories (share with others what we have learned along the Warpath). But most important, we must listen – truly listen – when others tell their own stories.

For while we leave our stories untold, the Storm lingers on the near horizon – we will forget unless we tell it. And if we do not listen to others, we become disaffected with those in our nation, because we cannot relate with them.

Counterinsurgency Series

Ownership: The Antidote to Your Excuses

When we make excuses, we are desperately trying to relieve ourselves of responsibility. Either we actually believe that, It’s not our fault, or we are trying to avoid the consequences of our actions.

However, making excuses is an insidious plot to shift blame to another person. When something goes wrong, and it’s not your fault, you are saying it is clearly someone else’s fault.

That line of thinking is a virus in any organization, whether it is the body or a business, or in a relationship. Why is it a virus? Because making excuses i.e. blaming others is a process which replicates itself up and down a chain of command, and across a society.

Eventually, the blame will settle upon a supposed privileged minority. This is exceptionally dangerous, as it results in a nation divided in itself. Once divided, a tyrant may seize control.

To be an effective leader, you must recognize that you cannot do it all yourself. You will need a team. A productive team requires excellent communication and accountability.


Objectively, a leader is accountable for their team, which means accountability compounds at every level of subordinate.

eg. The combat leader is accountable to his superior for his soldiers’ actions.

Yes, of course the soldiers are held accountable for their actions, but the effect compounds through the chain of command. The failure of the soldier is a reflection of their leader’s failure to communicate relevant information, which I refer to as the leader’s values.

The anti-virus for excuse-making is to take ownership at your proximity to responsibility. It does not matter whether you are directly in charge of the operation. It doesn’t matter if you are the soldier who fired the shot, the captain over him, the radioman, the logistical officer, or the Commander.

Where ever you are in the scenario, you should take ownership, which means taking blame. This does several things:

  1. As soon as you relieve others of the blame, it actually calls their attention to what they did wrong. Do not be surprised when someone else steps forward to shoulder part of the blame.
  2. Relieving your superior of the blame will cause them to be grateful for you looking out for them, and you will have made a friend in them.
  3. Relieving your subordinate of the blame will cause them to be more loyal to you, realizing that you value them and will not forsake them.
  4. It effectively identifies you as the person with the highest integrity. It takes a Man of extraordinary character to take responsibility.
  5. If you accept that you are responsible for your own weaknesses, you will be happier as you discover that you can improve.


Effective communication will result in fewer misunderstandings along the chain of command.

However, what I would like to focus on is communicating and sharing your values with those below you in the chain of command.

Ways to ensure that your values are shared among your subordinates:

  1. Remember that communication is always 2-way. Do not dictate to your team. Instead, provide the purpose for what you are trying to accomplish – people desire meaning.
  2. Make communication easy. Give someone your phone number instead of your email. Gather all members of the team into an instant-chat group.
  3. Spend quality time with subordinates – make the time you spend with them of high quality, regardless of the work involved.
  4. Lead by example before verbal coaching – many of your values and habits will be adopted quickly as they realize what is important to you.
  5. Celebrate wins and praise often.

Think of the nervous system’s role in an exercise. Consider how it communicates with the muscular system and promotes continual communication via neurological pathways. There cannot be any interference in the dialogue between the mind and muscle – they must be united in their mission.

I’ve said that your muscles do not know your goals, that they only know resistance and the need to overcome it. However, the peripheral nervous system gathers external information for the body, reaching beyond your nation’s borders.

Perhaps, because of this continual communication, the muscles do know your goals.

The question I leave with you is, Are you communicating effectively with those around you? Or are you catatonic? Are you progressing, or can you no longer see your Vision?

Counterinsurgency Series

Optics: Perspective and Detachment

The ability to see clearly is crucial for combat and technological advances have bestowed incredible optics on ground level troops, as well as their leaders.

But the optics which you now require are not obtained by a quartermaster or provided to you from the rear supply chain.

Remember when you were a mere Freedom Fighter. You were under the thumb of a tyrant. In an oppressed state, you were either blinded by a lying, corrupt media or you may have been imprisoned, silenced.

Visualization is a key to your progress at that point. Utilize your literal mind’s eye to envision a future for you and your nation. This practice will actually help you develop the perspective needed as a leader.

Yes, to be an effective leader, you will require a broad perspective. While I have discussed the perspective of command before, I would like to delve much deeper.

Proximity to Responsibility

Whoever is closest to the job is most responsible for it. The body understands this, and will help compensate for weaknesses and imbalances. It will do so involuntarily, and thus is a process unbeknownst to you, but you have to know, because you are the Leader.

An example of this is when one muscle compensates for a weaker, phasic muscle. Another example is when one of your subordinates is taking on too heavy a load due to others’ negligence or incompetence.

As a Diplomat King, it is still your job to fulfill the job role of a Commander if necessary, and you must communicate with your troops. But instead of providing tactical training, you should communicate by sharing your values down the chain of command.

Muscles are trained by the nervous system, not by the Commander directly. This is an example of delegating responsibility, and the body does it perfectly. The peripheral nervous system communicates the needs of the body to the muscular system, it is an intelligence-gathering service for the body – your CIA.

I digress. Back to my point, the training of troops falls to combat leaders (the nervous system). The Commander has too broad a perspective to relate with the ground level troops. If he were to sit down and talk with a infantryman, they would have nothing to talk about.

The Commander would want to discuss supply lines and the national end state and the infantryman would say, “I just want to get home in one piece.” They can’t relate.

This is why delegation is so important. The Commander needs to delegate the training  of the infantryman to a sergeant or a captain for two reasons:

  1. They are physically closer to the infantryman – they eat with them, sleep with them, and go out on patrol with them.
  2. They are closer to the infantryman in their perspective – they share more values (even if only a few) than the Commander shares with the infantryman.

Review the Perspective of Command.

Target Fixation

An insurgency is afoot! You have a clandestine enemy within your nation who is working to undermine you. It would be easy for you to become obsessed with military matters and forget all we have discusses during the Counterinsurgency Series.

This target fixation can be fatal, for while you focus your attention on the minute, you have missed opportunities and peripheral threats.

Way back in the Command and Control Series, we discussed training the nervous system. A lot of these tactical operations should be automated.

Furthermore, Become detached. The key of delegation is to not revert back to doing it all yourself when the appointed person fails. Things only affect you as much as you let them affect you (can I get an Amen?).

If operations are not automated, or you cannot relate with someone, then perhaps you should roll up your sleeves and get down in the trenches with them. Deconstruct the problem, work your way back to where the root cause is, and begin working up from that point.

This is a broad concept: it can be a muscle you have not strengthened and conditioned, or a person you have not spoken to in a long time.

Practice taking Ownership, which is a form of stoicism, and realize that you are actually responsible for everything happening below and above you. If more effort is required of you, it is your responsibility to do the work.

Equipping yourself with these new optics of perspective means, You know what it’s like to be on all levels (from the ground-level troops to the brigadier general). Detachment is only possible when you can relate with everyone, because you know their troubles – you have overcome them.

We mustn’t excuse ourselves. It is not someone else’s job if they are our subordinate – it’s our job. This is taking Ownership, and will be discussed in more depth in the next part of this series.

Counterinsurgency Series

Delegation: Creating a Post-war Society

In the midst of this Counterinsurgency, we are transforming. We were once a Commander but now we are to become a Diplomat King.

Similarly, the war zone has transformed – it has become a city. Enemy combatants have become citizens. Our soldiers have become engineers, bankers, fast-food workers, students, stay-at-home moms, etc.

It is important for the Commander who wishes to become a Diplomat King to avoid one potential downfall: reverting back to wartime methods and mentalities during times of stress whether they be times of financial, physical, or emotional stress.

Remember, as a former Freedom-Fighter Commander, you are certainly capable of doing the Commander’s job – you did it and were successful at doing it – but you have decided to take on a transcendent role.


Failure to delegate will result in immense stress placed upon you. When you fail to delegate, you now must do your job and another job (the one you appointed to someone else). You may be able to balance the two for a time, but eventually one or both jobs will suffer.

It is important to note, Stress can be a good thing. It is a resistance to overcome and develop personal growth (whether it is muscle growth, spiritual or intellectual growth, or emotional growth). Alas, Stress is only a good thing until it halts your progress completely.

This is what happens when you do not delegate – you revert back to your old job, your old responsibilities, old mindset and all the bad habits associated with it.

Halted progress is a catatonic state, which is the result of immense trauma or stress. Furthermore, stress is the high road to depression.

Watch this video of a young man suffering from catatonic schizophrenia…

The man’s delusions have become so powerful that they completely derail his life. His trajectory in life was to be an excellent student and musician, but those responsibilities were utterly wasted by the story he was telling himself.

The tyrant in your mind has set up obstacles in your path (stories you tell yourself) and raised a vicious secret police to thwart you at every turn (toxic relationships). So, what do you have to do?”

– Primal Rage

Balancing Tenderness and Aggression

The above excerpt is from a post advocating the use of indignant rage toward your opposition. Rage can be a tool, so long as you do not become a Mad King.

There is a balance one must achieve between tenderness and aggression. We have discussed this need for balance in the body’s musculoskeletal system, but the same process also must be applied in developing the optimal mindset of a Diplomat King.

I believe it is fair to say, we hope that as we age we will give less attention to the judgements of others. An adolescent may feel petrified in social interactions but develop more confidence in young adulthood, giving less credence to the opinions of their peers.

But we cannot completely free ourselves of caring about what other people think of us – that would be a sociopathic characteristic.

Ultimately, we must avoid excusing ourselves but we also must allow ourselves some excuses (herein lies a dichotomy), only as long as it reduces stress which may cause catatonia or halted progress.

Regardless, we must realize that there is real danger in excuse-making. Largely because it leads to dissolution of responsibility, which is often called, Blaming others. This is an insidious virus that can overtake your nation and bring it to heel i.e. catatonia.

And from whence did this virus come? We can trace it back to our old enemy, the tyrant.

Before we can address the virus, and produce the antibodies to neutralize the threat, we must gain perspective. Equip yourself with the right optics so that you can see the Big Picture.

Counterinsurgency Series

Logistics: Meal Prep and Scheduling

A war requires soldiers and combat leaders.

Both soldiers and their leaders require continual training, and familiarity with the types of terrain they will encounter as well as the equipment they will need to use.

This training should be delegated to combat leaders (the nervous system).

The chief responsibility of the Commander, however, is to provide the troops with access to the equipment they need to be effective in their jobs.

Various support elements must be provided, this we know.

Alas, there are logistics which require the broad view of the Commander.

I have also taught you that the muscles and organs of the body do not know what your goals are. They have no idea what is really happening beyond the borders of the nation. All they know is they are told by the neurological communication from the brain.

Take the perspective of a military leader. His has an eternal perspective, or at least very long-term perspective. In the midst of the battle, he sees the national end state, or the nation’s best interests.

– Commander’s Intent

Because of the lack of perspective at the ground level, it is necessary for you as the Commander to make the right decisions with regard to the following logistics:

1. Design and Development First you should create a plan – preferably a written one – which outlines your day-to-day. (See The Storm)

2. Acquisition and Maintenance Construct a morning routine with an emphasis on personal development: visualization, meditation, and fueling the body.

Do not let poor logistics cause you to fail. You should meal prep and keep healthy non perishable snacks available at home, at the office, and in your car.

Chronic sympathetic states occur especially when the body receives inadequate nutrients day after day. (See Sound the Retreat)

3. Disposition of Materiel Use free time throughout the day constructively: reading, journaling (documenting), goal setting, and creating.

There is no exact prescription I can give you for what to do and how to spend your time. Simply ask, “What do I want, and what am I willing to do to get it?”

4. Field Operations Completely understand all risk/reward aspects: what is worth your time and money, and what is not.

5. Rest and Recuperation Engage with family in evening-time rituals: bathing, storytime, talking, and intimacy with your partner.

Often, these are neglected much to the canker of our bodies and our minds. For what is a Man without a family?

6. Aquisition of Furnishings or Services Invest money in highest quality food and knowledge – everything you ingest/take into your body whether it be your belly, your eyes, or your mind.

Consider hiring professionals who can support and educate you.

7. Ultimately recognize yourself as the lodestone upon which all rests or, the game piece with which the game is played.

Contracts and Corporate Affiliations (revisited from the Victory Series)

As stated above, “Completely understand all risk/reward aspects: what is worth your time and money, and what is not.”

Beware entering into contracts, whether they be on paper or verbal, which bind you to the service of another.

Of all people, readers of this blog should know to avoid potential tyrannies.

An army which has many corporate affiliations becomes a Slave Army, bound to the cycles of the world economy. Supply and demand will make your army a juggernaut, relentless in its unceasing conquests – this is a distorted Cause, a bloody Warpath.

Furthermore, guard your time and how others dictate your schedule. One of my mentors, Elliot Hulse, once taught me that your career or job should be aligned with your own values.

Quit Your Job and Train! (This is an older video, so pardon the video quality – but the content is gold!)

If you must sacrifice one of the above logistical necessities for a paycheck, you have already lost the war we are all fighting.