Counterinsurgency Series

Hearts and Minds

Do your suffer from poor relationships? Are there people who you care about, but they seem distant or reject your attempts to reach out?

Do you want to improve a relationship with a child, a spouse, a family member or a friend?

The best way to develop a relationship with someone is to talk with them – communication is the key. The more often you speak, the better acquainted you are with one another. You will find more subjects to speak about until you can speak about anything for hours.

It is no different with the body. Are you experiencing pain in a part of your body? It is likely due to a lack of quality communication. You must be willing to put in the time. We engage in conversation with our bodies through motion: stretching and articulation of muscles and joints. I call this Telling Our Story.

But there are other reasons for poor relationships (with the body or with others) and one of those reasons is coarse dialogue in the past, and now the relationship is damaged or stunted – unable to progress further.

Coarse dialogue often happens when we are either preoccupied, irritated, or experiencing pain ourselves.

The other day at the gym, I walked past an older man and we made eye contact. I greeted him warmly and he gave a derisive snort and continued his workout.

Now, I understood what this man was feeling – or at least I could imagine it. He was tired and in the middle of his workout. He didn’t have time to exchange pleasantries with me.

I did not conclude by his actions that he hated me. I did not take it personally, nor did I make myself a Victim.

But could he have mustered a smile? Could he have offered a curt nod as acknowledgement? Alas, he was dismissive. He gave no heed to my feelings, and thus I was made to feel unimportant.

No one likes feeling unimportant. Our muscles are no different.

Ultimately, we want to maintain a high quality relationship with our bodies so that they do not rebel against us. In a Counterinsurgency, the enemy will likely try to turn the local populace against you, painting you as a tyrant.

It is important to make the first move – recruit the body to your Cause.

In order for your muscles to be recruited to a Cause, you must build a strong relationship with your body. A strong neurological connection with your muscles is needed.

Commander’s Intent

I have discussed how to develop a strong neurological connection in the previous postconsistency, going through the motions.

Sometimes, you are going to have to just talk to someone whether it is easy or not, whether you have something to say or not. Just talk to them. Your time invested in developing a relationship with someone will be have more impact than any paltry gift you could offer them.

Make the first move. Make that call. Visit that person. Squash that beef. Let it all go.

Counterinsurgency Series

Stability and Control: Going Through the Motions

You may be saying, Kevin, you’ve already talked about control in the Command and Control Series!

I have. But just because we are now in control, it doesn’t mean an insurgency cannot take root. And that is what we are doing – preventing insurgencies, rebellions, and coups.

So we must maintain control. How? Simple: provide stability.

Training the peripheral nervous system improves balance and stability. Stability is the body’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

…to achieve this stability, the body and its many different systems must be able to communicate with one another – one nation, undivided.

– Patterns of Behavior

A key to consistency is communication. Everyone has to know what they should do, and everyone has to know who is in charge (You are, by the way).

Communication in the body is inhibited by dehydration, muscular imbalances, and stress. (Follow the links to eliminate these insurgents)

Consistency: A Pattern of Behavior

Now, I am not a neuroscientist. But let me break it down for you.

When we perform an action, whether it is bending down to pick up a kettlebell or turn a door knob, or pull out our keys to unlock the door, neurological signals are traveling from our brains to our muscles, causing them to contract.

This is why I use the metaphor of muscles being soldiers and ourselves being the Commander – we give orders and the muscles carry them out.

Well, each time that neurological signal travels through the body, it creates grooves. Basically, by performing an act again and again, it becomes easier for the brain to communicate with that musculature.

This is why we have poor coordination when trying to perform a task we have never done before, and then become proficient at it over time.

It’s pretty clear to me that the best way to achieve your goals is to just do the thing and it becomes easier to keep doing.

Please watch this clip from Jocko Willink’s podcast about GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS!


Counterinsurgency Series

Growth Capacity: Setting Realistic Expectations

Remember, you are not at war anymore. You are engaged in a Counterinsurgency!

After the war ends, [the Freedom Fighter] knows he will not be needed as a Commander. Of course, in wartime, he knows he must fight – he must set boundaries, push his soldiers to excel, and make hard decisions which benefit the greater good sometimes only he can see…

The freedom fighter refrains from retaining his position of power. He is not trying to start another war. Otherwise he would be a tyrant.

Yes, the war is over. And yes, there may be some fighting ahead, but a you are on the path to becoming a Diplomat King.

The Diplomat King can do things the Freedom-fighting Commander cannot. He can form alliances and stimulate the economy – after your own war (your workout), you can begin recover through hydration, sports nutrition, and sleep.

– (previous excerpts) Freedom Fighters

You have a nation to nourish and sustain. This can only be done when the nation is made stable. Imagine, your body has been at war with itself for much of your life. You have suffered from chronic sympathetic states, starvation,  and tight and tonic muscles.

You have felt pain. But now it is time to heal.

Developing a Strong Economy

A strong economy will be required for the long, healthy lifespan of your nation. But, what is actually possible with your current population? Are they educated? Are they trained in practical skills?

The citizens of your body are your muscles and vital organs, but they have been at war for a long time – it may be all they have ever known.

First, you must provide jobs!

Wholesome employment for your veterans allows them to be reincorporated into society. It will give them a new mission – a purpose.

What am I actually talking about? You must have goals – all kinds of goals: health and fitness goals, spiritual goals, relationship goals…

Next, you must educate them.

Knowing how to use a M16 rifle is going to help a veteran get a job like your latest personal record in the gym is going to help you make things right with that person. Provide appropriate education and training for your body – your muscles and your mind.

You educate yourself in this way by spending time with people you care about, and serve others selflessly.

Allow for Success

Most importantly, Set realistic goals and allow for success.

Allow yourself to succeed, and you will see yourself in a new light.

So often – and we see this in businesses – so many expectations are set, so many goals are put on the board, and since very few people can achieve them all, they are never acknowledged for what they do achieve.

Give yourself recognition for what you have done right.

Furthermore, you must not fall back into tyrannical behavior. Give your body the rest and nourishment it needs daily! Sound the Retreat!

This also means, when you do get outmaneuvered and fail, don’t be so hard on yourself. Look at all the wonderful progress you have made so far on your journey.

Counterinsurgency Series

Harmless Memes

Last month, social media feeds were flooded with side-by-side comparisons of profile pictures. It was called the “Facebook 10-year Challenge”, choosing the user’s first profile picture and setting it alongside their current one.

Relative to the vast quantity of disparaging content which we suffer on social media, it is safe to say that this short-lived meme was pretty harmless.

Conspiracy theories abound, however, claiming that the alleged user-created meme was in fact a data mining operation by Facebook, and possibly government agencies who wish to develop facial recognition software.

Such theories would suggest that we are hapless servants to corporations and governments, oblivious to the underlying dangers of technology and our immersion in it.

Our Fascination with Transformation

The internet challenge reached its peak during the second week of January. It is not surprising to me that it was so popular during the time of year in which people are focused on transformation.

It was a time of year during which people are apt to say, New Year-New Me. Goals are set for weight loss or body transformations, education or professional growth, and relationships. We desire to do better this year than last, and we hope we are doing much better this year than 10-years ago.

Rooted in hope is our fascination with transformation – we hope to do better and be better.

However, there is a danger present in the kind of behavior we saw on social media: going with the flow.

When we do whatever we see other people do, we effectively lose our freedom. Remember that our muscles are our soldiers – we have recruited them to a Cause we believe in. Don’t let your soldiers get recruited by the enemy!

Media Ops

We perceive the world through a lens of media. It is a distorted perception veiled in false flags and operated by insurgents and traitors. Some of these are within our bodies, which I call rogue states, and some are outside ourselves, fake friends and fake followers.

– Tales Tales and White Lies

I’m not trying to be cynical. I only hope that we are not being controlled by tyrants – whether they are the tyrant inside our own minds, tyrants in our homes or circles of influence, or tyrants on social  media who have ulterior motives.

Media is a powerful tool in a Counterinsurgency. However, if you do not utilize it, the enemy will!

I would suggest reviewing an excellent post (no bias here!) published in the Mission Briefings. It draws upon the imagery of idolatry we see in the fitness industry. Use it to avoid be controlled!

ISIS was very effective at recruiting through social media. It was because, when we see only through a lens, we only see what the framer wants us to see. We do not see the Big Picture.

I believe it is crucial to our safety and our progress (I am talking about both our fitness and our health) that we always know the facts – the Big Picture. The best way to protect oneself from falling for tale tales and white lies (becoming controlled by media and puppeteers), is to explore and experiment yourself.

That is what I have done. I have experimented with many different modalities and programs, and I choose what I find to be valuable and continue those things until they no longer provide results. This is what I mean when I say, Avoid a dogmatic approach in all things.

Counterinsurgency Series

Domestic Policies: Tyranny at Home

Tyranny can come upon us from people we least expect.

Obviously, we would not expect Tyranny from within ourselves but nonetheless we experience it (Fighting Rogue States).

We are also often oppressed by family and friends.

Our fitness and nutrition goals can be deemed unimportant and even vain or unrealistic. Unhealthy foods can be brought into our homes and our wills can be tested. We have to prepare ourselves for these things, lest we succumb to the tyranny of others.

Close Quarters Combat

I remember, years ago I was following Zuzka Light and her ex-husband Fredrick. She continues to create some of the best fitness content on YouTube and Instagram, so check her out!

Fredrick wrote a blog post with the title: How to Deal With Friends and Family. It covered four “scenarios” that individuals may experience when they begin a fitness and nutrition program.

The entire spectrum is covered, from amiable family members and housemates, to open hostilities.

Anyone who has ever lived with someone they did not get along with knows that the environment can become unbearable and toxic.

It starts to get nasty – they bring home deep dish pizza’s and make fun of you for eating your chicken salad. You might hear from those around you that there is nothing you can do about your body shape because “that is just the way you are” and you “might as well accept it”.

How to Deal With Friends and Family

While this is at the utmost extreme, it is possible that you will experience a level of resistance from those closest to you. And when things get tough, you may ultimately decide it’s just not worth it.

But it IS worth it! You’re just going to have to fight for it! After all you are a Freedom Fighter, aren’t you?

Establishing a Perimeter

Establishing a perimeter means you are in control of yourself and your environment. It means, No one can impose their will upon you. You are free. Or at least, as long as your perimeter is secure.

We all have our own values – things we believe are important. And unfortunately there are those who will try and impose their warped values on us. We can prevent this intrusion by setting boundaries with others.

Establishing a Perimeter: Setting Boundaries

Establishing a perimeter does not have to be an aggressive act – it can be a declaration of freedom. Begin by communicating your goals and desires to those you live with and spend time with.

And then, stop talking about them. Just do the things you know are right. Hostilities will generally only arise when you become an evangelist and others feel threatened by your beliefs, because they fear that you are judging them.

Set them at ease – let them know you are doing this because you believe it is important for you.

Furthermore, understand that your habits will make or break your goals. As mentioned in the first post in the Counterinsurgency series, we must break bad habits by maintaining Overwhelming Dominance.

Dominate all areas of highest strategic importance! Specifically, your nutrition.

Break Your Bad Habits

Battles occur at the front line and the front line is populated with soldiers. Overwhelming Dominance is done by recruiting first, or raising an army. Generally, the army with more soldiers wins.

When it is not merely a numbers game, implement tactics!

Documentation makes things tangible and real. Create a written battle plan, or daily schedule for when you will workout and when you will eat. Do not justify lapses in your schedule once you have put pen to paper.

You can also utilize technology – calorie counting apps, fitness challenges from YouTube or Instagram. They are plentiful and never-ending.

Change up tactics when necessary. Is the enemy’s position too heavily fortified? Do you suffer from toxic relationships? Find a way out.

Do not stay in a bad situation. Implement a new strategy.

– The Warpath

When all fails and you believe Victory is impossible, remember who is counting on you.

We will all inevitably make mistakes – we get outmaneuvered. When this happens, we must become deliberate again in our training.